By Lt Col Kevin Redman, Howard Composite Squadron, Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol.

Early in the month, Howard Squadron again supported the local community by providing traffic management support at the Howard County Farm Bureau parade in Lisbon, MD. A dozen cadets and seniors came out on a cold and blustery day to help the Howard County police and Lisbon Fire Department direct cars to parking areas and clear the roads for the annual event which attracts most everybody from western Howard County.

            On our 13 December meeting, Howard Squadron held its annual Civil Air Patrol Birthday celebration commemorating the 77th anniversary of the organizations founding on December 1, 1941. Major John Strong, the Group I commander, attended and witnessed cadets receive promotions as well as conduct a number of year end presentations to the gathered parents and visitors. These presentations reviewed the year’s highlights in activities and provided an in-depth explanation of the training conducted at the meetings. Another guest was our newest future member, Raelynn Taylor (daughter of 2nd LTs Rachel and Cody Taylor), who was all of six days old.

Howard Squadron CAP birthday Party setup and newest future member, Raelynn Taylor.

            Howard Squadron also continued its annual support for the Wings Across America program effort to place a wreath on each service veterans grave before the holiday season. This year, Major Terri Taylor researched the locations and service records of approximately 180 veterans located in several cemeteries throughout Howard County. Over a very rainy weekend, seniors and cadets found all of these graves and honored US veterans from the Civil War though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, C/A1C Victor Koropeckyj, who is currently living in France, participated in the WAA ceremonies conducted at the D-Day cemetery located in Normandy.

C/MSgt Aiai Calmer honoring veteran in Howard County and C/A1C Victor Koropeckyj in Normandy

Howard Composite Squadron meets Thursday nights, 7:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. in the cafeteria of Building 1 at the Johns Hopkins University-Applied Physics Laboratory located at 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland. We invite anyone interested in aerospace education, cadet leadership training or emergency services support to attend a meeting to see if CAP membership is a way for you to serve your community. Youths, ages 12 to 18, parents and adults interested in the cadet or senior program are always welcome to drop by our meetings. Contact information for the Howard Composite Squadron is at http://mdwg.cap.gov/index.php/squadrons/howard-composite-squadron/ .Nearly 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at www.mdcap.org or follow the wing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandWingCivilAirPatrol. Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.