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Cadets glide to success at annual Aerospace Academy

Glider on tarmac
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On the tarmac at Frederick Municipal Airport, Cadet Ben Parrish hooks up the tow line, while Cadet Alex Chang prepares for flight. Capt. Kevin Martin pilots from the back seat.

7/6/2006––Cadets from Maryland and West Virginia completed the 10th annual Aerospace Academy conducted by the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) June 17-23 at the U.S. Army's Ft. Detrick and at Frederick Municipal Airport.

The 33 cadets spent seven days in a military atmosphere, focusing on glider flight training as well as other aerospace topics.

Project officer for glider operations, and licensed CAP pilot, Capt. Olin Kinney, provided classroom instruction for the cadets, which included aerodynamics of glider flight, procedures of tow aircraft, glider hook-up, glider flight line operations with emphasis on safety, and the effects of weather conditions on glider and powered flight operations.

Once classroom instruction was completed, each cadet was given the opportunity to receive two front-seat glider flights in an L23 Super Blanik glider trainer, used by CAP and the U.S. Air Force Academy, to experience first hand what they had learned on the ground.

Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie flights took turns visiting the airfield at Frederick Municipal Airport for their glider flights. While at Ft. Detrick, a series of activities was planned to engage cadets in fun and learning.

Ft. Detrick provided CAP with an area for tent camping behind its Odom Physical Fitness Center. CAP also had use of the fitness center, where cadets took part in team-building exercises, a volleyball tournament, and swimming throughout the week. The Detrick Center for Training and Education Excellence was open to academy attendees and staff for classroom use as well. The post dining facility provided meals to the cadets and staff each day.

Cadet Staff Sgt. Isaac Breen-Franklin from the wing's Arundel Composite Squadron served as special assistant to the academy project officer. Breen-Franklin led the cadets in model rocketry classes during the week, where each cadet built their own Estes Alpha rocket. This culminated in a field trip to Sharp’s Waterford Farm in Howard County, where cadets held a launch at week’s end.

Lt. Col. Jackie Fries from the wing's Frederick Composite Squadron, held a basic communications user class for cadets who had not yet received their radio training. A presentation on "Why go to Mars instead of the Moon" was offered by Capt. Robert Terry, the wing's aerospace education officer.

Cadets also traveled to Virginia, to visit the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, near Dulles Airport.

Some cadets received special training during the week on the proper execution of an end-of-the-day retreat ceremony. The ceremony took place on Thursday evening, and was attended by Col. Mary Deutsch, the U.S. Army garrison commander. She also visited cadets in the classroom during the week, speaking to them about their CAP achievements and how their experiences can prepare them for a career in the military.

At the close of the retreat ceremony, Maj. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, along with Col. Deutsch, presented cadets with souvenir coins and congratulated them on their hard work and dedication to learning about customs and traditions of those serving in the military.

Capt. Mark McLean and Technical Sgt. Dede Dotson, U.S. Air Force Reserve members, were present to ensure that operations were carried out safely. In addition, they provided team building support to cadets through activities and discussions.

The academy closing ceremony was attended by Maj. Bill Parris, the wing's deputy chief of staff. Charlie Flight, commanded by cadet Rob Rollins from the Osprey Composite Squadron, was recognized as honor flight. Cadet Darius Yancey, also of Osprey, received the Honor Cadet award for this activity.

"May we all congratulate the over 30 cadets who completed our Aerospace Academy," Parris said. "The dedication, abilities and week-long dedication to this program is highly commendable. This was a well-planned, well-executed operation that made a great contribution to our cadet flight program.

"Finally, thank you to Lt. Col. Ayres of MER, who both facilitated using a Virginia Wing tow plane and added daily flying expertise to the Academy. Well done all."

Project officer for the academy was 1st Lt. Ron Long from the Mt. Airy Composite Squadron. Long works for the U.S. Army Garrison at Ft. Detrick. This was Lt Long’s fifth year coordinating the academy.

The aerospace academy is designed for younger cadets, to provide a first-time camp activity. As a prerequisite for this academy, cadets must have attained the CAP grade of airman prior to the beginning of camp.

Serving at the 2006 Academy were:

Cadet Staff :

  • Chiara Burgan - Cadet commander
  • Stacey McManus - Cadet first sergeant
  • Tyler Czarnowsky - Alpha Flight commander
  • Zachary McManus - Alpha Flight sergeant
  • Ryan DeGruy - Bravo Flight commander
  • JT Kmetz - Bravo Flight sergeant
  • Rob Rollins - Charlie Flight commander
  • Russell Gehret - Charlie Flight sergeant

Special Assistant to the Project Officer:

  • Cadet Isaac Breen-Franklin

Flight Line Cadets:

  • Ben Parrish
  • Zach Bowen
  • Jason O’Neil
  • Jeff Remsburg
  • Jon Gardner

Glider Pilots:

  • Capt. Olin Kinney
  • Maj. Doug Lundgren
  • Capt. Steve Landers
  • Capt. Kevin Martin
  • Capt. James Mays

Tow Pilots:

  • Capt. Olin Kinney
  • Lt. Col. Robert Ayres
  • Capt. Andy Chrusciel

Air Boss:

  • Capt. Olin Kinney
  • 1st Lt. Craig Miller
  • Lt. Col. John Greene

Flight Recorder / Administration

  • 1st Lt. Michelle Mayer

Medical Officer:

  • 2nd Lt. Sharon Rea
  • Cadet Master Sgt. Paul Rea - Assistant

Senior Member Support:

  • Lt. Col. Jackie Fries
  • Capt. Kathy Palace
  • 1st Lt. Michelle Mayer
  • 1st Lt. Sherry McManus
  • 2nd Lt. Sharon Rea
  • 2nd Lt. Tim Bowen
  • 2nd Lt. Stacey Bowen
  • Senior Member Gussie Bouldin

2006 Academy attendees were as follows:

  • Arundel Composite Squadron – Alex Chang, Charles Gulotta, Paul Gulotta, Jacob Lebo, Andrew Lewis-Johnson, Gregory Mayer, Timothy Murphy, and Kaitlyn Walker
  • Annapolis Composite Squadron – Samuel Pauley
  • Bethesda Chevy Chase Composite Squadron – Kyle Cornett
  • Carroll Composite Squadron – Joshua Anderson, Daniel McCauley, Robert McCauley, Michael Schuster, and Charlie Zepp
  • Ft. McHenry Composite Squadron – Adam Darchicourt and Matthew Jensen
  • Hagerstown Composite Squadron – Sam McQuaid
  • Harford Composite Squadron – Adam Marenna
  • Martinsburg Composite Squadron – Katherine Danno and Mark Guiney
  • Mt. Airy Composite Squadron – Josh Newsome
  • Osprey Composite Squadron – Darius Yancey
  • St. Mary’s Composite Squadron – James Angiola, Robert Brunger, Eashan Samak, and Allison Smith

CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. CAP volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies.

Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program. CAP's cadet programs provide young men and women with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 63 years.

There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 34 search and rescue missions and were credited with 23 finds.

For information about the Maryland Wing of CAP, visit or listen to weekly episodes of "Civil Air Patrol Today" broadcast every Sunday morning on the following radio stations:

  • Annapolis, MD - WYRE-AM 810, 8:00-8:30 a.m. ET
  • Baltimore, MD - WFBR AM 1590, 8:00-8:30 a.m. ET
  • Ocean City, MD - WKHZ-AM 1590, 7:00-7:30 a.m. ET
  • Potomac, MD - WCTN 950 AM, 6:00-6:30 a.m. ET
  • Rockville, MD - WLXE-AM 1600, 7:00-7:30 a.m. ET
  • Washington, DC - WZHF-AM 1390, 7:00-7:30 a.m. ET

In addition, programs may be listened to at the Maryland Wing web site at and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.

Maryland Wing Public Affairs also offers an e-mail alert system for news releases. When news breaks, a subscriber receives an automatic e-mail with a summary of the news release and a link back to the story on the MDWG web site. Signing up for e-mail news alerts is easy. Just go to: and fill in your e-mail address.

To view more photos of this year’s academy, visit Mt. Airy Squadron’s web site at