Archive for August 7, 2015

OCS Members Attend NE Wing Ground Team Academy (Pathfinder) 2015

by Marcia Moran

The Omaha Composite Squadron had six cadets and two senior members attend the Nebraska Wing Ground Team Academy (Pathfinder) 2015 at the end of July.  Cadets Ethan Copple, Ty Sarvis, Catriona Garrett, Bryce Moran, Mathew Johnson, and

Cadets Moran and Sarvis

Chaim Hayward plus Lieutenants Alex Engel and Marcia Moran joined about 30 other CAP members from various squadrons and had a great weekend of learning what it takes to become a Ground Team Member. The academy kicked off on Friday afternoon at the City Well Field in Freemont, NE where a tent city soon began to form. After a safety brief and some basic instruction, everyone had the contents of their 24-hour packs checked as these will become a vital asset on all the ground team missions. The large group was then divided into three ground teams. We were then instructed on how to properly use a GPS, followed by ELT training. Just when we thought it was lights out for the night and we could finally sleep, everyone reported for a late night GPS training mission that lasted well past midnight! For many, sleep was minimal thanks to the train activity and the blaring of the horn throughout the night.

Saturday’s training began early with outdoor classes on land navigation, maps and compasses, communications, and what to do in a missing person situation. After that we learned to properly form a search line and how to keep the group at the same walking

C/2dLt Ty Sarvis finds missing child.

pace/orientation. It’s so important to be vigilant while doing this otherwise a person or evidence could be easily missed.   We then split up in five vehicles for an offsite ELT exercise and learned how to triangulate the signal we had been trying to locate. This also gave the seniors in the group a chance to learn Ground Team Leader responsibilities and delegate jobs to the cadets. The cadets learned how to use the radios, and the importance of documenting all communications and instructions. After a quick lunch back at the academy, we headed right back out for an offsite scenario of a missing child. The groups formed line searches in thick woods along the Platt River. OCS’s very own C/2dLt Ty Sarvis found our missing person making the search a success. After another long day and few breaks, we welcomed lights out with no surprise late night missions. However the surprise came in the wee hours with strong winds, lightning, and heavy rain. Some had the foresight earlier in the day to add an extra layer of tarp and recheck the tent stakes. Though some nerves were rattled as much as the tents were, everyone was okay.

Sunday morning started off with a lesson on evidence preservation and intelligence gathering. This was helpful, as the seniors had to do a mock interview with someone with a missing

OCS cadets take a quick break for lunch

relative. After comparing notes and pinpointing where we think the person was, we went out for one final mission. With the last brief behind us and the tent city dismantled, the Ground Team Academy came to an end. It was fast paced, we slept little, but we learned a lot. The importance of having a smart phone was stressed over and over, but I think most would agree the most important piece of equipment is our notepad. The OCS would like to thank all of the instructors, including Col. Kuddes, for providing their time and instruction and ensuring the Ground Team Academy was a success.

Tent city!

Tent fail. Not from OCS.









Cadets and Seniors at final brief

Ground Team Academy Instructors

Change of Command at Omaha Composite Squadron

OCS Opening Formation

Cadet Command Staff








The new Omaha Composite Squadron Cadet Staff

On August 3rd, 2015, the Omaha Composite Squadron held the Cadet Change of Command Ceremony.  The outgoing Cadet Commander, C/Col. Christopher Pineda relinquished his Command by handing over the squadron flag to the Squadron Commander, Maj. David Lewis, and C/1stLt Ethan Copple assumed Command by accepting the flag from Maj. Lewis.

C/Col. Christopher Pineda relinquishes command as OCS Cadet Commander.

C/1stLt. Ethan Copple accepts command as the new Cadet Commander of the Omaha Composite Squadron.

Great symbolism is attached to the ceremonial aspects of a change of command.  The Change of Command Ceremony is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding or flag officer to another.

The new Cadet Commander is introduced to the entire squadron.

The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its soldiers is never without official leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance of soldiers to their unit’s commander.

C/CMSgt Nelson relinquishes her position as First Sergeant, and assumes the position of Cadet Executive Officer.

All cadet staff positions were selected by the Squadron selection board, composed of Senior and Cadet members, following a rigorous selection process which included a mandatory submission of CAP resumé, and cover letter by each one of the applicants.  Each cadet earns points for commitment, participation, leadership, Community Service, and attendance at activities held outside of the normal weekly meetings.

C/MSgt. Catrionna Garrett assumes the new position as squadron Cadet First Sergeant.

Following the change of Command ceremony, all other Cadet Staff positions were announced to the rest of the squadron and visiting guests and family members. The new Cadet Commander proceeded to hold the Monthly Promotion Ceremony for all cadets who have earned new ranks during the previous two months.

Cadet Bryce Moran is Promoted to the rank of C/TSgt.

Cadet Hunter Woods is promoted to the NCO rank of C/SSgt.








Maj. David Lewis also presented several First Flight Certificates for cadets who have participated in their first Orientation Flights during the past month, and announced the Cadet of the Month for the previous month.

Cadet Vonn Smith earned the first rank of C/Amn.

Maj. David Lewis presents First Flight Certificates to Cadets Shriver and Morse.

C/MSgt. Garret is presented with the Cadet of the Month Award.

Following a short Safety Briefing, all those present were  invited to celebrate the occasion by partaking in Cake and soft drinks.

The cake for the occasion.

The Omaha Composite Squadron would like to thank the outgoing Cadet Commander for his dedication, leadership, and commitment to all aspects of cadet life, and for helping make the squadron a nationally recognized quality cadet squadron.   We also look forward to the continued success of the new Cadet Staff, in order to attract more members and make our squadron the standard for others to look up to.

Congratulations to all!

For Additional photos of today’s ceremony, click the album below:

August 2015 – Cadet Change of Command Ceremonies


By 1stLt. Eric Perquin

This year’s summer day camp for local Cub Scouts was centered around the theme “Take Flight”. The organizers were in search of some knowledgeable personnel to assist and turned towards their local Civil Air Patrol unit for some assistance. Omaha Composite Squadron answered the call.

Local Cub Scouts enjoy a presentation on aviation and other CAP activities

1stLt Eric Perquin and C/Col Christopher Pineda arrived in front of a group of 30 enthusiastic young Cub Scouts. I didn’t take long to gain their undivided attention. A better group of well behaved young men would be hard to find. It was a real pleasure  working with them.

C/Col Pineda’s presentation on flight basics was a real hit. This part of the event generated some interesting feedback and some unforgettable questions.

C/Col Christopher Pineda shows Cub Scouts a picture board full of interesting CAP activities.

Listening to the answer to “how do you avoid trees when on auto pilot” was quite amusing, with a hearty response from the Scout Leaders. Picture boards of OCS Cadets performing different activities over the years. There is no doubt that many of them will be thinking Civil Air Patrol in years to come.

Afterwards, many of the Cub Scouts asked to pose for pictures with the CAP members.