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Red Wing Cadets and Senior Members attend the Minnesota Leadership Academy

From 18-22 October 2017, three cadets and three senior members of the Red Wing Composite Squadron and Stanton Flight attended the 2017 Minnesota Leadership Academy at Camp Ripley, MN.   The cadets, SrA Brady Rezac, SrA Laura Rezac, and SrA Willie Wagner attended the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCOS) Course.  Senior members (Adults), 2nd Lt Andrew Rezac and 2nd Lt Jeffrey Rezac worked as seminar leaders for the Airman Training School.  Major Stephen Wall attended the Training Leaders of Cadets (Intermediate) course.

The Minnesota Leadership Academy consists of training programs for all levels of cadets as well as advanced training for the senior members.  The Airman Training School teaches new cadets the basic requirements in military drill and leadership, the proper wearing of the uniform, and opportunities available to them through the Civil Air Patrol.  The Non-Commissioned Officer School provided cadet NCOs basic leadership training for leading at the flight level, how to effectively prepare and present a speech, and how to manage the basic development of subordinate cadets. The Basic Cadet Officer School provided instruction into the art and science of leadership and the responsibilities of command.   Senior members provide the overall supervision of each school and also have opportunities to attend advanced training programs such as the Corporate Learning Course and Training Leaders of Cadets.


The Red Wing Composite Squadron celebrates its 50th Anniversary

07 Oct 2017 was the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Red Wing Composite Squadron, so to celebrate, we held a hangar dance and awards ceremony at the Red Wing Squadron facility.  We had over 100 people attending the event, including Roger Pohlman, Chief of Police for the City of Red Wing, and Ms. Peggy Rehder, Red Wing Council Member.  We also had many former members of the squadron stop by to renew friendships and celebrate. It was a wonderful time for all who attended.

At the awards ceremony, C/CMSgt Skylar Bennyhoff was honored as the Cadet of the Year for 2017.  C/CMSgt Bennyhoff is the senior ranking cadet in the squadron and has been an outstanding cadet commander.  C/CMSgt Brandon Wichser was awarded the honor of  Cadet NCO of the Year for 2017.  C/CMSgt Wichser is the First Sergeant for the squadron and works hard to keep the cadets on track.  We were fortunate to have the rare opportunity to select two senior members of the squadron as Senior Member of the Year for 2017. 1st Lt Wayne Grudnoske, the Deputy Commander for Cadets and Lt Col Victoria McGuire, Safety Officer, were honored as the two Senior Members of the Year.  Lieutenant Grudnoske has performed above and beyond in his duties as the deputy commander for cadets.  His knowledge of aviation, history, and leadership have made him an indispensable member of the command team.    Colonel McGuire has been the primary advisor and “go to” person for the new members of the Stanton Flight.  Without her guidance and counsel, the Stanton Flight would not be as successful as it has become.

In 2016, we apparently had never awarded the Senior Member of the Year award to Maj David Carlstrom, so to correct that terrible error, he was presented the honor at this awards ceremony.  Maj Carlstrom is another one of those members who are always available to help out.  He not only provides training to the pilots and crew, he also is heavily involved in the teaching of cadets the fine art of flying an airplane and provides support for the Civil Air Patrol glider flight program.  Without his support, the squadron would not be able to provide the necessary training required to maintain our mission to the public.

Glider Training at the Stanton Airfield

On 08 Aug 17,  Cadets and Senior Members participated in glider orientations flights at the Stanton Airfield.  While glider flying is not new to the Stanton Airfield since there has been a long time glider training facility located here, this is the first time that the Civil Air Patrol has provided glider training to CAP members.

Aliveo Museum Visit

On 04 Dec 2016, the squadron met at the Aliveo Military Museum, at 321 Bush St,  in Red Wing for a tour of the museum and aerospace education by Capt Johnson. The cadets, as well as many of the senior members, learned much about the military history of our country. It was a great learning experience and everyone enjoyed it.

The Aliveo Military Museum is part of the Aliveo Learning Center Inc. Our purpose is to operate and maintain this museum that will preserve and honor those that have served their country.

Our mission is to educate the public, especially the youth, about military history through the protection, preservation, and presentation of military artifacts. It is an important tool to teach our nation’s military history to school-aged children and the public at large. For as long as human history has existed, an essential part of society has been the recording of its past experiences. Military history is a component of that need, to record the passage of time and the role that the military has played in the story of our country.

The Aliveo Military Museum has a significant collection of military artifacts such as military pistols, rifles, edged weapons, uniforms, insignia, badges, flags, and equipment. The collection includes relics and artifacts from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War to the current Middle-East Wars. We even have a section on the Zulu/ British War.

Aliveo Museum 1 Aliveo Museum 2 Aliveo Museum 3

Red Wing Cadet Goes to the Air Force Academy

Congratulations to C/SRA Izaiah Laduke for receiving an appointment to the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.  Cadet Laduke will be starting this challenge as he enters the class of 2020 on 30 Jun 2016.

Cadet Laduke has earned a rare opportunity to participate in one of this country’s finest officer training programs.  This appointment is awarded to only about 1,200 of the 9,700 applicants.  Cadet Laduke’s accomplishments in the Civil Air Patrol, his school, and his life, have indicated his potential to meet the demands and challenges of the Academy.  This is quite an achievement for Cadet Laduke and a great honor for the Civil Air Patrol and Red Wing Composite Squadron.  Congratulations.

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C/1LT Brenden Kelly receives his wings


Congratulations to C/1LT Brenden Kelly for achieving his private . Under the outstanding training of Capt David Carlstom, Red Wing Composite Squadron flight instructor, C/1LT Kelly spent many months learning the secrets of flight and finally succeed on Saturday. Good job and congratulations.

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Wing and Squadron Activities

Upcoming Activities:
8-10 Apr – SAREX, Crow Wing Sq
9-10 Apr – Squadron Leadership School, St Paul Airport
22-24 Apr – Wing Conference
29 Apr-01 May – Encampment Prep School, Camp Ripley
6-8 May – ES Training, Whitewater State Park
20-22 May – BLACK CAP, Red Wing
23-30 Jul – Encampment, Camp Ripley.

There will be many activities to keep everyone occupied and provide great training. Cadets, if you have questions about these events, see your chain of command. Parents, please call me or 1Lt Oscar Nelson.

Stephen Wall, Captain, CAP
Commander, Red Wing Composite Squadron
Civil Air Patrol

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Red Wing Composite Squadron – Memorial Day Weekend 2016


Field of Honor 2016

Memorial Day weekend was busy for the airmen of Red Wing Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol.  On Friday evening, the Group IV Honor Guard and cadets and senior members of Red Wing Composite Squadron 104 participated in the Field of Honor presentation at Bay Point Park.  The airmen escorted guests and posted flags on the to honor individual veterans.

On Monday morning, the brand new color guard for the Red Wing Squadron made its debut at the Memorial Day celebration.  The color guard participated in a mass presentation of colors, joined by color guards from the Army National Guard, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and other veterans groups.  Other airmen from the unit, both senior members and cadets,  also participated in the event.   Later that day, squadron airmen and family members assisted with the removal of the Field of Honor flags from Bay Point Park due to an impending storm.  Good work was done by all.

RWCS Field of Honor 1

Memorial Day 2016 RWCS Color Guard 2 Memorial Day 2016 RWCS Color Guard

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Prepare for Being Tagged – An Elevator Speech for CAP

Perhaps you have just finished marching in a large parade as part of a squadron honor guard and are standing on a street corner, still in your uniform, waiting for your parents to find you. Maybe you have just finished handing out programs at a Memorial Day event and are debriefing with your sergeant on a sidewalk while waiting for traffic clear. You might even be stopping for a soda in a store while on your way to or from a weekly CAP meeting. In any of these cases, someone might see you and decide that YOU are the person they would like to interrogate about Civil Air Patrol. You are wearing the uniform. Can you answer the questions, or will you be the deer in the headlights?

Everyone should have an “elevator speech” rehearsed and ready to give without even thinking. An “elevator speech” is a short, concise summary of something that could be given during the length of a typical elevator ride. Giving a professional answer reflects well on CAP and CAP’s mission. Preparing and rehearsing your answers will also help you develop your own sense of purpose in the organization.

You don’t have to become a certified Public Affairs Officer or memorize the Wing web site contents for your speech. However, here are some facts that maybe interesting enough to remain in your memory:

Congress mandates CAP to do the following:

  • Provide aviation education and training
  • Contribute to public welfare
  • Assist in local, state,and national emergencies

In short, CAP provides Americans with trained volunteers to support non-combat Air Force programs and missions. How does CAP do provide that support?

  • CAP conducts nearly 90% of inland search and rescue authorized by the Air Force.
  • CAP flies daily missions to support the Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Forestry
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  • CAP planes are used to simulate “aerial targets” to train US interceptors. (CAP plays the part of the “bad guy” trying to enter the country or smuggle drugs.)
  • CAP maintains a survivable radio network to provide emergency communications when disaster strikes.
  • CAP maintains 550 aircraft and a vast number of vehicles, rescue equipment, and radios.
  • CAP has 33,000 adults and 23,000 cadets in 1,650 units around the globe.
  • CAP trains adults and cadets to find missing persons and work with the Emergency Medical Services.
  • CAP flies human tissue for organ transplants.
  • CAP even fills sandbags during spring floods.

CAP does much more than these examples illustrate. Think about your own experiences, training, and education. Tell your “interviewer” what YOU have done and seen. Let the person know what Civil Air Patrol is doing for citizens. You may or may not end up recruiting a new member as a result, but you will have enhanced CAP’s ability to do its job when you have shared its purpose and capabilities with the public.

Michael Delk, CAP, SM

Red Wing Composite Squadron