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OCS Cadet Promotions and Aerospace Education

On February 9, 2015, Cadet Elizabeth Nelson was promoted to the rank of C/MSgt and became the new Cadet First Sergeant.  Congratulations!  We wish her success and satisfaction in her new role.  C/MSgt. Nelson holds the most prestigious and challenging position available to a cadet NCO, as cadet First Sergeant, her role will be a varied one.  The “shirt” is expected to be a master trainer, a great motivator, a fair referee, a just disciplinarian, and an aide-de-camp to the cadet commander.

C/MSgt. Nelson receives her promotion and becomes the OCS Cadet First Sergeant.

OCS Cadets put the information learned in the classroom into practice on one of the four flight simulators.


Immediately after the Promotion and mandatory safety briefing, the cadets participated in a hands-on Aerospace Education activity in which they used aviation Sectional charts to plot a simulated flight between two local airports.  After plotting the course, figuring the proper headings and landmarks to look for along their route, the cadets then flew the course on the squadron’s flight simulators.  This hands on training will help familiarize the cadets with the kind of information necessary to plan an actual CAP flight which could be used during one of their upcoming Orientation Flights.

Gen. Ira C. Eaker

OCS Cadet Earns the Ira C. Eaker Award

Cadet Christopher Pineda of the Omaha Composite squadron recently earned the Ira C. Eaker award.  The Award is presented to cadets who have completed the first 16 Achievements of the Cadet Program, and also receive the rank of C/LtCol. It is the culmination of Phase IV of the Cadet Program, prior to moving on to attempt the Spaatz Achievement Award, the highest rank which a cadet can achieve.

 The General Ira C. Eaker Award is the third milestone in the Cadet Program. This award is earned after the receipt of the Amelia Earhart Award, completing all of the achievements in the cadet program, completing the Cadet Officer School (or equivalent), and passing a writing and speech requirement. Approximately 200 cadets per year receive this Award. Less than 2% of Cadets receive the Eaker Award.

The Award presentation was made by Nebraska Wing Commander, Col. Darrell Nelson.  Also in attendance was the North Central Region Commander, Col. Robert Todd.

Nebraska Wing Commander, Col. Darrell Nelson presenting the Ira C. Eaker Award to C/LtCol Christopher Pineda

In 2014, C/LtCol. Christopher Pineda also earned his Private Pilot certificate and Pilot Wings. He also served as the OCS Cadet Executive Officer during the year, and attended Cadet Officer School at Maxwell A.F.B. in Montgomery Alabama.  He has attended nearly all cadet activities outside of the weekly meeting commitments.  As Aerospace Education Officer, he was also instrumental in earning the squadron, the coveted AEX (Aerospace Excellence Award) in 5 months.

OCS Cadets receive awards for Nebraska Wing Encampment

Three Omaha Composite Squadron cadets were recognized for their outstanding work and dedication during the 2014 Nebraska Wing Encampment.  C/Maj. Austin Henry received the Meritorious service award as Cadet Commander for the week long encampment.  Also, C/Maj. Matthew Norrie and C/Maj. Christopher Pineda were Awarded Commander’s Commendations for their outstanding roles as Squadron Commanders during the week long encampment.

Cadet staff volunteered and spent many days and nights ahead of the Encampment in planning and preparation meetings in order to make the 2014 encampment a safe, enjoyable and successful summer activity.

C/Maj. Austin Henry receives the Meritorious Service Award from Lt. Col. Robert McCartney.

C/Maj. Christopher Pineda and C/Maj. Matthew Norrie receive the Commander’s Commendation Certificates from Lt. Col. McCartney

Omaha Cadets get Orientation Rides in WWII Fairchild PT-19

Several Omaha Composite Squadron Cadets were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime Orientation Ride in a vintage WWII Fairchild PT-19 trainer aircraft in appreciation for their efforts and support of the Wingnuts Flying Circus in Tarkio Missouri last year.  Capt. Christopher Goodrich was kind enough to fly the aircraft to Council Bluffs and fly the cadets around the local area and enjoy a flight in an open cockpit aircraft.  The cadets were given control of the aircraft in the air so they could experience the handling characteristics of the aircraft.


Burke High Aviation Students get up close & Personal with CAP Aircraft


35 Omaha Burke High School aviation students visited Millard Airport recently to inspect two CAP aircraft. Majors John Pineda and Tom Pflug of the Omaha Composite Squadron hosted the tour.

Following up on recent classroom lessons, the students participated in “pre-flight inspections” of the Cessna 182 airplanes. Everyone had a chance to move ailerons, sump fuel, and manipulate flight controls. Major Pineda demonstrated the capabilities of the  G1000 “glass cockpit” to the amazement of the class.

For many of the visitors, this was their first chance to get close to a real airplane. LeeAnn Vaughan, the aviation science instructor at Burke, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to enrich her students’ classroom experiences with time in and around operational airplanes. More involvement with the Burke aviation science program is planned later in the school year.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide with nearly 600 volunteers in Nebraska. CAP operates the nation’s largest single engine aircraft fleet with 550 aircraft including six in Nebraska.  CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for over 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit or more information.