By Maj. Tom Pflug
On a beautiful October day, members of the Nebraska Wing, Omaha Composite Squadron, and Fremont Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol hosted Jill Orton, the Regional Executive of the American Red Cross, for a flight and demonstration of CAP resources in Nebraska.
Following up on a prior meeting with Ms. Orton that had been arranged by Dr. Arthur Weaver, Lt Col Dan Peterson and Capt Whit Bonifant met Ms Orton at the Millard Airport and introduced her to one of CAP’s Cessna 182 aircraft. After receiving a certificate and a set of honorary CAP flight crew wings, Lt Col Peterson and Capt Bonifant departed with Ms Orton for a brief flight to Fremont, Nebraska. There, members of the Fremont Squadron met the flight and provided Ms Orton with a briefing and demonstration of the various ground assets that could be available to support Red Cross disaster relief efforts. Of particular interest was the NEWG Mobile Operations Center (MOC) which could provide Red Cross personnel with critical radio communications capabilities in the event of a disaster. Col Steve Kuddes, Lt Col Jim Kuddes, and Maj Dave Proctor also briefed Ms Orton on the various ground support capabilities that CAP can provide.
Upon her return to Millard, Ms Orton expressed appreciation: “Wow, what a delightful day! Thank you for my honorary Civil Air Patrol “wings”. Beautiful weather, smooth flight, spectacular pictures, and good conversation…. I look forward to growing our partnership.”
NEWG will continue maintain regular contact with the American Red Cross to support their needs for the transportation of personnel and blood products, and the utilization CAP’s ground based communications resources. Special thanks to Dr. Arthur Weaver for his behind the scenes efforts to organize the introductory meeting with Ms Orton and her staff which led to the flight and demonstration opportunity.