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McGuire Composite Squadron Holds Virtual Open House

posted Jun 23, 2020, 12:24 PM by William Petzinger   [ updated Jun 23, 2020, 12:25 PM ]

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST (June 15, 2020) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has made a challenge of recruiting new members for Civil Air Patrol.  The McGuire Composite Squadron, after braving the new normal of weekly Zoom meetings, recently hosted a successful virtual open house.

The squadron’s virtual open house event, which took place on Blues Monday this month, was among the first of its kind in Civil Air Patrol. Prospective members who tuned in using the Zoom meeting platform were given presentations from squadron cadets about Civil Air Patrol’s missions. The 18 guests included students ranging in ages from 12-16 and their parents as well as prospective senior members from municipalities around Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst.

After a welcome by squadron commander Maj Bill Petzinger, C/CMSgt Mikhalya Hamilton gave a brief history of Civil Air Patrol. This was followed by an introduction to Cadet Programs by Deputy Commander of Cadets 1 Lt Frank D’Agostino and the Cadet Commander C/1st Lt. Alanna Hendrickson. They also discussed the requirements for promotion, activities, and opportunities.

C/2nd Lt. Joseph Podesta gave an overview of Emergency Services performed by Civil Air Patrol. C/SSgt Aaron Sperry gave an overview of the organization’s Aerospace Education program including model rocketry, O-Flights and National Special Cadet Activities.

C/SSgt Christina Orthodoxou talked about squadron activities, highlighting Wreaths Across America, CyberPatriot, the annual Washington D.C. field trip as well as the importance of fundraising to keep these events affordable. The presentation concluded with a question and answer session.

“It is times like these that we realize how vital technology is in keeping us connected to our community and membership,” said Maj Petzinger. “Despite the fact that people are physically distancing themselves, we were able to host our open house using Zoom and interact with everyone in real-time.”

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, 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 80 lives annually. CAP’s 61,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 26,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.