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International guests visit Maryland for annual exchange

Marty Sacks walks from plane with two cadets
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Capt. Marty Sacks walks with international cadets from the United Kingdom and New Zealand after flying them in Civil Air Patrol aircraft.

IACE exchange brings guests from U.K. and New Zealand

9/12/2010––Six international air cadets and their escort visited the Civil Air Patrol Maryland Wing in July and August as part of the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE), a program that is designed to promote goodwill and fellowship through the common interest of aviation. This year’s guests from New Zealand and the United Kingdom visited Maryland for ten days along with a week in Washington, DC.

Members of the Carroll Composite Squadron served as the primary host for the guests with assistance provided by several squadrons around the Wing. The guests stayed in a farm house in Carroll County for the week, which became their primary base of operations. Capt. Tom Reed, Carroll squadron’s deputy commander for cadets, served as project officer for the event. This is the third year the squadron served as primary host and escort for the Maryland Wing IACE hosting.

Reed along with Col. John Knowles, Maryland Wing commander, met the IACE guests in Crystal City, Va., on the first day. After an initial briefing and introductions, everyone traveled to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center where they met Lt. Col. Kevin Redman, Wing finance officer, who gave them a behind the scenes tour. After the NASA tour, the group toured the National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade, Md. The first day rounded out with a welcome dinner with the Carroll Composite Squadron and the guests settled into their new home for the week.

Day two began with a tour of the Gettysburg National Battlefield. The cadets were able to meet other cadets from around the Wing as the week progressed. Joining them in Gettysburg was Cadet Col. Jake Reed of the Carroll Composite Squadron and Cadet 2nd Lt. Caddi Golia of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron. After a longer visit than planned in Gettysburg, our guests visited the Tri-Wing Encampment where they stayed for the Awards Dining Out. During this event, the cadets were able to meet with many of the more than 200 cadets on hand for the event. Following the dining out, the IACE cadets enjoyed an evening at the weapons simulator on Camp Fretterd Military Reservation.

The next day our guests learned about Baltimore’s history by visiting Fort McHenry National Monument and spent the day in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hosted by members of the Osprey Composite Squadron. On the following day, the cadets joined members of the Carroll Composite Squadron, led by Capt. Joe Moltz and 1st Lt. Brandon Brooks, to a fun filled day at Hershey Park.

Helping the cadets learn about Maryland’s water sports was Capt. Pat Aaron of the Carroll Composite Squadron who spent the day with the cadets teaching them to sail his boat on the Chesapeake Bay. This was followed in the evening by a visit to the squadron for their regular meeting. The international cadets were able to see how Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets train. A fun event was the cadets comparing the drill maneuvers from the various countries.

Experiencing aviation and flight is a goal of the exchange so our guests spent Wednesday morning up in the air in CAP aircraft. Carroll’s Capt. Pat Aaron and Fort McHenry Composite Squadron pilot Capt. Marty Sacks spent the morning flying the cadets over Maryland. The cadets were excited to see a birds-eye view of areas they have previously visited on the ground.

Cadets from the Frederick Composite Squadron and Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron joined our guests in Westminster for a visit the Baltimore Ravens training camp for an experience with American football.

Another day the cadets were provided a tour of the Warfield Air National Guard base where they toured C-130Js and A-10s. This tour was followed by a trip to Weide Army Airfield for an orientation flight on UH-60 Blackhawks with Col. Jerry Weiss, former Maryland Wing commander, and the Maryland National Guard.

Additional days included visits to Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy hosted by the Annapolis Composite Squadron and a tour of Andrews Air Force Base with Capt. Larry Moore and Lt. Col. Jim Steinmeier of the Fort McHenry Composite Squadron. The cadets visited the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian near Dulles Airport and visited Harper’s Ferry.  A final BBQ and pool party with members of the Carroll squadron rounded out the visitors' stay in northern Maryland.

Towards the end of their stay, the cadets traveled to southern Maryland for two days with the St. Mary’s Composite Squadron where they toured the Patuxent Naval Air Station and museum and visited historic St. Mary’s. Our guests experienced a Maryland tradition with a crab feast hosted by Cadet Maj. Matt Herten and his family, who also provided accommodations for our guests. They met cadets from the St. Mary’s squadron and the Calvert Cadet Squadron, along with Lt. Col. Wes LaPre, Maryland Wing vice commander.

The international cadets returned to Crystal City to meet up with other cadets that traveled to other Wings around the U.S. All agreed it was a great week that met the goals of the International Air Cadet Exchange.

For more information about IACE, visit

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and has been credited by the AFRCC with saving more than 100 lives this fiscal year. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 25,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 68 years.

There are more than 1,500 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information about the CAP, visit