Wingman: Chapter News

Oct. 9, 2018

From left: Central East Region President Peter Jones and Chuck Yeager Chapter President Herman “Herk” Nicely II stand next to Mountaineer Cadet Officer Leadership Shool awardees/cadets: Sierra Knott, Casey Bennett, Wilton Kitt, Avion Tucker, Coralee Swann, Rylie Hart, Lou Mustian, and George Struthers.?


The Chuck Yeager Chapter in West Virginia sponsored awards given at the Mountaineer Cadet Officer Leadership School (MCOLS) at Concord University in Athens, W.Va.

The school runs each year in June for a week, and this year 235 cadets from 16 schools and six states participated.

Cadet Sierra Knott from Jefferson High School, W.Va., won Best in Fitness (Female), Best in Personal Inspection, and Outstanding Basic Cadet; Cadet Casey Bennett from William Blount H.S., Tenn., won the Academic Achievement award; Cadet Wilton Kitt, Patrick Henry H.S., Va., won Outstanding Advanced Cadet; Cadet Avion Tucker, E.C. Glass H.S., Va., won Best in Individual Drill; Cadets Coralee Swan, Douglas H.S., S.D., and Rylie Hart, Hixon H.S., Tenn., won the Outstanding Flight Cadre awards; Cadet Lou Mustian, Deep Run H.S., Va., won Best in Fitness (Male); and Cadet George Struthers, Jefferson H.S., W.Va., won Best in Room Inspection.

MCOLS was founded in 2000. Its mission is to teach Air Force core values, to improve cadet’s leadership abilities, marching skills, physical fitness, and to produce the next generation of leaders.

The chapter also announced the winners of the 22nd annual Chuck Yeager Chapter #209 Drill Competition, held at Parkersburg South High School, Parkersburg, W.Va., on Feb. 10, 2018: 1st place: PA-931; 2nd place: OH-091; 3rd place: OH-881, W. Va.; Grand Trophy: W.Va. 781. Top Three Knockout winners are: 1st place: Cadet Campbell, PA-931, 2nd place: Cadet Ward, OH-881, 3rd place: Cadet Smart, OH-881.


Silver Wings Cadets participated in the Air University Intern Program from June 18-22, 2018, at Maxwell AFB, Ala. The Montgomery Chapter partnered with the Air University Foundation to provide a $600 donation to fund four Silver Wings students, helping to defray costs during their AU Fellowship.

This year’s interns were Ashley MacKinnon, Sheona Lalani, Ignacio Videla, all from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., along with Erin Roush from Ohio State University.

Marianne Williams, Silver Wings senior director, joined and assisted the AU project officer, Maj. Christopher Pugh, in accompanying the students—who are also AFA members—on their visit to two operational wings, the 187th Fighter Wing (ANG) and 908th Airlift Wing (AFRES). They also had the opportunity to learn about the Air Force’s Center for Professional Military Education. The interns attended seminars, speeches, and lectures at Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and Squadron Officer College.

The interns say the fellowship was an eye-opening experience.


Artist Paul Jacobs donated his painting, “First Ace,” depicting World War II hero Lt. Col. “Buzz” Wagner’s most notable flight, at his hometown’s Showcase for Commerce in Montclair, Va., in June.

He presented the painting to the Lt. Col. B. D. “Buzz” Wagner Chapter (Pa.), which also maintains a replica of Wagner’s aircraft. The painting shows Wagner, the first American ace from World War II, rolling inverted to keep his target in sight. It gives the viewer a good feel for what that event may have felt like.

The painting will be a welcome addition to the chapter’s permanent display honoring the service of Wagner, and will help keep his story alive for generations to come.


The Spirit of St. Louis Chapter held its 45th Annual Awards Ceremony in Maryland Heights, Mo., in March honoring the top four NCOs from the St. Louis area’s Active and Guard units.

Pictured are the winners, flanked by the President and Vice President of the Spirit of St. Louis AFA Chapter. L-r: CMSgt. Gary Young (Ret.); Lt. Col. Joel Brown, AETC 345th Recruiting, Scott AFB, Ill.; TSgt. Angela Caufield; Lt. Col. Bill Layton, 157th Air Operations Group, Missouri ANG Jefferson Barracks; TSgt. Nicholas Noduft; Lt. Col. Michael J. Willen, USAF Band of Mid America, Scott AFB, Ill.; TSgt. Michael Correa; Col. J. Van Ryn, MOANG Medical Unit, Jefferson City, Mo.; TSgt. Tyer F. Owenby; and MSgt. Bob Schure, USAF (Ret.).


The Fairbanks Midnight Sun Chapter (Alaska) experienced a VIP tour of Eielson AFB, Alaska, in March, witnessing F-35 icy-runway testing throughout the day. The first stop was to the base’s water treatment plant, which hosts a state-of-the-art filtration and distribution system. The system allows Eielson to have no outside lines, making he base’s water supply 100 percent self-sustainable.

They visited the “Panther Pens,” which house the 18th Aggressor Squadron and its fleet of F-16 fighters. Members were able to climb aboard and get a firsthand look. The base typically conducts Red Flag exercises from April through October.

The five-hour tour ended with stops at the 168th Wing, where KC-135s are maintained. Chapter members traveled along the flight line and got out on the ramp to observe F-35 “touch-and-gos.”

Before members departed, they were hosted at a luncheon at the Yukon Club and enjoyed a final presentation by Col. Jacob Trigler, commander of the 354th Operations Group. He gave the group a mission brief empasizing Eielson’s strategic importance—being able to reach anywhere in the Pacific area of responsibility within eight hours.afa presents outstanding cadet awardCivil Air Patrol Cadet, Amn. Jake Roberson, a 13-year-old student from Grand Haven Middle School in Michigan and also a member of the Lakeshore 119 Composite Squadron, received an Outstanding Cadet Award from the Air Force Association in June.

Cadet Roberson approached the senior members of his squadron shortly after joining CAP to suggest introducing more aerospace education routinely within the squadron. He volunteered his time and efforts to research subject matter for current event topics and to give monthly presentations, complete with sources of information as well as question and answer sessions.

His fellow cadets describe his passion for aerospace as “contagious.”

“I really enjoy learning about the topics and sharing that knowledge with others. I love CAP,” said Roberson, who credits his parents, Mark and Carrie Roberson, for encouraging his interests in aerospace and CAP. Cadet Roberson plans to become an aerospace engineer.


Sal Capriglione Chapter (N.J.) president, Joseph Capriglione, left, pesented an AFA pin and cap to Col. Neil Richardson, commander of JB McGuire-Dix Lakehurst, N.J., and the 87th Air Base Wing.

Richardson was the guest speaker for the Ocean County Community Business Association meeting held in Tom’s River, N.J., in January. He discussed the new upcoming contruction at McGuire and its impact on the Ocean County community.


Sherilyn Dawson, a K-5 teacher at Concord Christian School in Knoxville, Tenn., and also a 9-12 afterschool STEM teacher at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, was selelected as the Gen. Bruce K. Holloway Chapter (Tenn.) and Tennessee State Teacher of the Year, as well as the Tennessee Wing Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Teacher of the Year.

Dawson won the awards because of her aerospace education instruction to both elementary and high school students. She used STEM kits provided by CAP to enhance her instruction with hands-on lessons in aerospace science, robotics, and space science, including a high-altitude balloon launch and recovery.

The joint presentation of the Teacher of the Year awards took place at the school in an awards assembly of high school students and staff, highlighting the close AFA-CAP relationship in East Tennessee.


This year’s Mississippi Teacher of the Year who has excelled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), chosen by the G. V. Sonny Montgomery Chapter (Miss.), is Enterprise Elementary-Middle School teacher Megan Shumate.

Shumate was recognized for her teaching her students creativity and critical thinking skills.

Working with 2nd through 6th graders, she taught the students to explore coding and programming Spero robots to maneuver “hands-free” through increasingly difficult obstacle courses. Using physics applications, the students studied the shape of snowflakes and learned how air density affected the aerodynamics and fall rates of the snowflakes. Her students finished the year by designing their own video game, using Bloxels, and by building a programmable robot with Lego kits.


The Central Oklahoma (Gerrity) Chapter was one of 65 educational and corporate aerospace entities participating on April 24 in the “AERO Oklahoma” Aviation & Aerospace Advocacy Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The event is sponsored annually by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

Two industry groups, including three members of the Gerrity Chapter, visited with more than 30 legislators and the state speaker of the house, advocating not only for aerospace company interests, but also for the preservation and development of the state airport system. Additional Gerrity Chapter members manned a booth, sharing information about Oklahoma aerospace, chapter activities, and Air Force Association efforts such as the CyberPatriot program.

As Oklahoma’s second largest industry, aviation has a significant impact on the lives of its citizens. The event was a unique opportunity for Oklahoma military, aerospace companies, private and commercial pilots, airport managers, municipal officials, drone pilots, educators, flying clubs, and many users of the Oklahoma airport system to meet one-on-one with state legislators and other elected officials.

The official address was given by Governor Mary Fallin, who welcomed the large crowd with remarks about the aviation and aerospace industry spurring some $44 billion in annual economic activity, while supporting 206,000 jobs, and totaling a $11.7 billion payroll. Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, then-commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, also spoke regarding the impact of military aviation.


On April 6, 2018, a Georgia ANG C-130 Hercules from the 165th AW based at Savannah ANGB, Ga., departed from the Clay National Guard Center, Dobbins ARB, Ga., for an AFJROTC orientation flight over north Georgia coordinated by the Georgia National Guard recruiting and retention office.

A host of passengers included: Junior and Senior AFJROTC cadet and detachment leadership from Marietta High School, Wheeler H.S., Collins H.S., Dutchtown H.S., Towers H.S., and East Paulding H.S., as well as Dobbins Chapter President Michael Wilkins and special guests.

Also in attendance were representatives from Cobb Industrial Inc.,— Bryan Pickens, Detera Pickens, and Sydney Pickens—which sponsor’s AFA’s Dobbins Chapter (Ga.) STEM scholarship in conjunction with the AFJROTC AFA National Award Certificate, Medal, and Ribbon presented to the top cadet in each detachment.

Following the flight, guests received a presentation from the Georgia ANG leadership who reviewed the military career and servivce opportunites offered by the Georgia ANG and fielded questions from the cadets.

MSgt. Jose Padilla, state recruiting and retention supervisor, spoke about the Guard’s “citizen airmen”—civilians with full-time jobs. He reviewed educational opportunities, including scholarships and financial assistance.

The cadets were very interested in learning more about opportunities available to them after high school.


An Aerospace Education Activity Day was organized by Derald Wentzien, President of the Brig. Gen. Bill Spruance Chapter (Del.).

In May, Delaware Civil Air Patrol cadets, University of Delaware AFROTC cadets, and members of the Delaware State Air Force Association attended the activity day/workshop at Dover Air Force Base’s Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Del.

The Delaware CAP cadets participated in a Jeopardy-type contest, learned about the history of the Delaware CAP, participated in a team-building exercise conducted by the UD AFROTC cadets, held a STEM egg-drop challenge, and learned about drones used by CAP.

Delaware AFA State President Bill Oldham was in attendance and spoke to the cadets.