Archive for October 23, 2014

OCS receives Quality Cadet Unit Award

The Omaha Composite Squadron – A nationally recognized Quality Cadet Unit.

The Omaha Composite Squadron has been recognized by the Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters as a Quality Cadet Unit.  In order to be recognized for this milestone achievement, each unit is graded against the following criteria:

  • Adult Leadership
  • Aerospace AEX and STEM report
  • Cadet Achievements
  • DDR Participation
  • Encampment
  • Enrollment
  • Growth
  • Orientation Flights
  • Retention
  • CyberPatriot participation

OCS met 8 of the requirements as follows:

  • Adult Leadership: Unit has at least 3 TLC graduates on its roster.
  • Aerospace: Unit earned the Aerospace Excellence Award (AEX).
  • Unit sent in an after-action report on a STEM Kit during the school year for Rocketry activities.
  • Cadet Achievement: 41% of cadets on roster have attained the Wright Brothers Award.
  • Encampment: 51.2% of cadets on roster have completed encampment.
  • Enrollment: Unit had more than 35 cadets listed on its roster.
  • Orientation Flights: 63.4% of cadets on roster have participated in at least 1 flight.
  • Retention: Unit retained 42% of first year cadets (cadets that joined from 1 September 2013 through 31 August 2014).

Congratulations to the Omaha Composite Squadron!

September 2014 at OCS

By SM Marcia J Moran

So what did YOU do this past month? Did you direct aircraft? Did you get to fly? Did you help your team on a training mission? Did you shoot off rockets? Did you have fun? The Omaha Composite Squadron did! Check out what they did in September.

September was a busy month for the Omaha Composite Squadron. It all started out early on Saturday, September 6, with Lt Col Robert McCartney and a van load of cadets heading to the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport to help with the ”Fly-in & Drive-In Breakfast”. Using their flight line marshalling training, they were able to direct aircraft as they flew in to enjoy a pancake breakfast. After some much appreciated help directing aircraft traffic to and from parking spots and assisting wherever else was needed, they were treated to some pancakes of their own. Good job.

Promotion night was Monday, 8 September. Congratulations to the following cadets who received promotions during the month of September:

  • C/LtCol Christopher Pineda received his Eaker Award
  • C/SSgt. Matthew Johnson received his Wright Brothers Award and was selected as the Cadet of the month.
  • Cadet Elizabeth Nelson was promoted to the rank of C/TSgt.
  • Cadet Michael Pineda was promoted to the rank of C/CMSgt.

They worked hard for it and earned it. They’ll Enjoy it. As a reminder, a cadet may promote every 56 days providing all prerequisites are met; this includes passing the PT test!

A few members regrouped again for a Unit Training Mission (UTM) on Saturday, September 13.  Thanks to some wing funded money for training, we were able to get two CAP Cessna’s in the air for some Emergency Location Transmitter (ELT) training.

OCS Orientation Pilot, Maj. Steven Johnson, greets cadets prior to Orientation Rides in September.

Though it was quite a chilly and foggy morning, N975CP was able to fly out of Fremont, NE, and N152CP flew out of Offutt AFB.  I was part of that group and got to fly as the Mission Scanner.  We flew down to Nebraska City where we listened for and finally found the ELT (and the van with the cadets!).  We were able to fly two missions, and then it was time for some orientation rides for cadets C/Amn Marquez and Cadet/ Brown.  Did they enjoy it?   Ask to look at their certificates!  C/SrA Moran and C/SrA Gerot were each able to get their third CAP O-Rides as well.  Special thanks for the huge amount of planning and coordination that made this possible.  Also, “well done” to the cadets on the ground manning the radio.

By mid-September the cadets finished up their Rocketry Program, which was funded by a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) grant.  This provided 24 Alpha rockets and all the necessary launch equipment.  So on September 15, the cadets went to Camp Ashland, training facility for the Nebraska National Guard and the Nebraska Wing CAP Headquarters.

C/SrA. Garrett prepares her Rocket for launching.

This is where they got to put all their rocketry and aerospace education to work. Two groups were formed about 500 feet apart. One group launched their rockets one at a time, while the other group measured the height of the launch using Altitude Finders. Then the groups switched places. Though the mosquitos were large and hungry, a good time was had by all. Thank you to all involved, including a huge thanks to 2d Lt Eric Perquin for his time and help in getting this program launched. A personal thank you to C/CMSgt Hoover for borrowing my camera to take some amazing photos, including this one of C/SrA Garrett who prepares to launch her rocket.

Saturday, 20 September, was designated for Squadron Leadership School (SLS).

Seniors attending the Squadron Leadership School offered by OCS.

We were fortunate to have 10 Senior Members attend this all day training at the Omaha Composite Squadron, including two members from Council Bluffs and one from Beatrice squadrons. This is a great way to show how squadrons come together and help each other. Thank you Capt David Lewis for all the hours of planning and for conducting this course.   We all learned a lot and were able to get this course checked off from our Level II training. The pizza and snacks were much appreciated as well!

The cadets and seniors met again the following Monday.  This was a great evening for the cadets to conduct some Emergency Services / Ground Team training through a fun outside exercise.

The following Monday, was the 5th Annual Squadron Picnic at the Chalco Hills Natural Resources District picnic pavilion by Lake Wehrspan.  We had a great turn out of cadets, family, and friends.  After formation and the pledge of alliance, we all enjoyed some really great food donated by the Bravo Italian Restaurant courtesy of Mrs. Sieler (Cory’s mother).  Thank you for making this happen.

The Cadet Corps gather for the Pledge of Allegiance and a few words of wisdom from LtCol McCartney prior to the Squadron Picnic.

The pasta and breadsticks were amazing! With full bellies and a little bit of daylight left, the cadets enjoyed a “wrong foot/wrong arm football contest. AEX events, including paper airplanes and other fun activities were conducted before winding things down for the night.

LtCol McCartney presents Mrs. Sieler with an OCS squadron cap in appreciation for providing the entrées for the picnic.

September wrapped up with a full calendar of activities. While the cadets and senior members all have something to do, there is always room for more members. If you are between the ages of 12 and 18, please check out the award winning Omaha Composite Squadron by visiting on Monday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Senior members meet the first and third Monday. We meet at 8901 S. 154th Street, Omaha, NE 68138 in the lower level of the Natural Resource Building within the Chalco Hills Natural Resources District Recreation Area at 154th Street off of Giles Road. For more information, you may view the website at