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

Howard Squadron Cadets participate in a fire hose carry challenge.

For our 1 November meeting cadets and seniors gathered at Howard County’s Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department to participate in the ‘fire combat challenge’ in lieu of our standard cadet physical fitness testing. Cadets had to complete several physical challenges simulating firefighting operations including carrying hoses, dragging large tires, forcible entry, dummy drag and flowing a charged hose line.

Howard Squadron Cadets practice controlling a charged fire hose.

On 17 November, Howard Squadron also actively participated in Maryland Wing’s Fall Search and Rescue Exercise conducted out of Westminster Airport. The ground team consisting of six senior members reported to a snow covered park near Union Mills to support a simulated missing person search. The team found several planted clues and assisted in training other ground team personnel participating in the search. After the ‘missing person’ was found, the ground team continued training in helping locate a simulated emergency locator transmitter and perform surveillance at the ‘crash site’. Other Howard Squadron members supported and trained with the mission staff with Lt Col John Morrow in Air Operations, Captain Sung Kwon training as the Mission Chaplain and Lt Col Kevin Redman as the Ground Branch Director.

Four cadets participated in orientation flights on 18 November out of Tipton Airport. Major Bob Nelson form Apollo I Composite Squadron was the orientation pilot and was able to conduct flights for Cadets Tulio Chavez, Victor Levin,Noah Giuliano and Umer Khan. Hopefully, we can arrange even more flights forcadets in the coming months.

Howard Composite Squadron meets Thursday nights, 7:00p.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.orgor 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.comfor more information.