Regional Cadet Competition

For the past three years, Boise Squadron has put together a Color Guard team and competed in the Rocky Mountain Region’s Cadet Competition. Our previous commander, Captain Joe Jamison encouraged the cadets to put together a serious team when he first took over the squadron. At the time, it had been four years since Boise had been to the competition. It was high time we got back in the game.

Three years later, we have finally put together a winning team and are now moving on to the National Cadet Competition in Dayton, Ohio. The cadets on this team were trained by the cadets who started up the team three years ago. They performed brilliantly in the flag and drill sections of the competition and I believe that’s in part due to all the events in which they perform on a regular basis in the Boise area. They have performed in front of crowds of thousands at the Ford Idaho Center and at Albertson’s Stadium during Boise State and Potato Bowl football games. It’s hard to rattle them much.

As proud as 1st Lt Ryan Navin and I am of these fine cadets, and their ability to overcome the obstacles they did to earn Second Place at this year’s Regions, I know they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to succeed if not for Captain Jamison and his desire to get Boise into the fray again. For having set that fire in the hearts of the cadets, we thank Joe, and I know the cadets going on to National will make him and all of us proud.

Joe Jamison with the first team he took to Region in 2017.

Just a quick note about the picture above. The last time Boise took a team to National was in 2012 with a young cadet Ty Miller (second from the right), who helped start this team in 2017. Also on this team from the beginning was Cadet Caleb Bryant(far left), who helped lead this year’s team.

The 2019 team with the hardware.

Who on this year’s team will be around in a few years to train future cadets and to carry on the winning tradition?

The Future Looks Bright

Greetings. My name is Ken McConnell, and I’m the new Boise Composite Squadron Commander. When someone takes over command of an organization, it is traditional and expected that they will set a new course for the unit. In this post, I will lay out the foundations of where I’d like to take this squadron in the coming years. Squadron Commanders tend to serve for four years, so with that in mind, some of these goals will take longer than others. But I hope that together we can get many of them accomplished during my tenure. Here then, is my peek into the future of Boise Composite Squadron!

GET ORGANIZED

Before we can move forward, we have to get better organized as a unit. We have the tools that we need to do this, we just need to learn to use them. So one of my first priorities is changing up how we organize ourselves and how we communicate. The heart of our squadron is our calendar. It’s where we schedule events and pass on details about those events to our members. Our calendar is a Google Calendar, and everyone in the squadron with an email account has access to it. Even the general public can see the schedule on our website. What’s Boise Squadron doing next month? Check their calendar or subscribe to it. What’s the uniform next Tuesday? Check the calendar, and if you touch that day, you’ll see what the uniform is and what the schedule is for that night. Someone not able to be at the meeting? Look, there’s a notice on the calendar that SM John Doe is out this week. I’ll have to catch him next week.

The Calendar will be our town square and our guiding light for where we are going and where we have been.

Communication is more than just using a radio or a phone to contact someone. In this modern life we live, communication skills rule. He who can communicate the best, usually gets things done faster and more efficiently. We communicate in many ways, some traditional, like the phone and email, and some non-traditional like Instagram and Slack.

But all forms of communications have their place and their audience. We need to find the tools that best communicate to the audiences we seek. Perhaps Facebook is the best way to get new senior members but if you want to inspire cadet members, post your image on Instagram. Planning a new event and need to chat about it with members on non-meeting nights? Head to a Slack channel. Need to write a formal document on how to do something? Create a GoogleDoc and store it in the squadron file system. Need to make a slideshow for your class on Aerospace? Create one in GoogleDocs.

Our digital tools, both new and old will serve us well as we communicate better with our own members and with other squadrons, the Wing and the General Public.

GET TRAINED

Before we can head out into the world and do our mission as CAP members, we have to be trained. For every job, for every uniform and for every activity that we do in CAP, there is a regulation. It is every member’s responsibility to ensure that she or he is fully trained before doing their job or going on a mission.

We will organize Flight Training, Squadron Training and then we will begin to become Mission Trained in Air Operations, Ground Team Operations and Communications. Our squadron members will, over time become the best-trained CAP members in Idaho and in the Region. We will do this by getting ourselves trained, and then we will become the trainers and start to train others. Eventually, this squadron will be the training capital of CAP in our state. Need a Cadet Officer’s Course, come to Boise. Need to be Ground Team qualified? You got it, head to Boise.

It sounds a bit far-fetched right now, but this squadron is growing and our hosts, the Air Guard has noticed. Soon we will outgrow our current building, and when we do, we’ll expand into a larger building or perhaps several buildings. Whatever it takes to execute our mission to train the Wing and then the Region!

GET KNOWN

If we’ve gotten ourselves organized and trained, we’ll automatically become known as the best and most professional squadron in Idaho. Other squadrons will study how we operate, prepare and execute the key CAP missions. And we will reach out whenever possible to lift up all the squadrons of the Wing until other Wings start to emulate Idaho. This fame has already taken off. We’re the biggest squadron in the Wing and in the Region. National knows who we are and they are watching us closely. Our professionalism and our training will earn us a reputation as being the best damn squadron in CAP.

Too much you say? Perhaps. But if the vision is there, we can make it a reality with hard work and dedication. Will all this happen in four years? Maybe. Will it happen in eight years? Without a doubt.

Next post I’ll get into more specifics about the things I want us to focus on in the next few months, and the year ahead.

Squadron Happenings Spring, 2018

Greetings!

I’m 1st Lt Ken McConnell, Deputy Squadron Commander for the Boise Composite Squadron. I’d like to welcome you to our site and take a few minutes to show you what we’ve been doing this Spring.

Lt McConnell with the squadron's C-182.

First off though, a few words about this blog which we’ve named the Commander’s Corner. We’re going to let the various senior and cadet leaders of our squadron take the helm here to show off some of the fun and interesting things we do here in the Boise Squadron.

Civil Air Patrol has three main missions and two of those are Emergency Services and Aerospace Education with the third being Leadership Training. Cadets and senior members have been actively participating in both ES and AE in recent weeks.

One of the things CAP is most well known for is being the organization that the Air Force calls whenever a small plane crashes in the wilderness. Our pilots and air crew members are trained to find downed aircraft and in some cases, missing individuals who may be lost.

We’ve participated in missions that have resulted in two saves and one find in the last month. The first mission was to find two missing fishermen on the Snake River and our plane found their truck which led police to find them the next day. The third find had a less fortunate result, but we found a missing plane that had crashed just south of Cascade. Unfortunately, the pilot did not survive the crash.

Meanwhile, cadets in our squadron are earning their rocketry badge and had their first launches. See that big Saturn V rocket? They learned not to shoot that off without enough power.

Because an under-powered engine could cause the rocket to sit and burn on the launch pad. Fortunately, all things can be repaired with a little ingenuity and some engineering. Four new fins will be fabricated from balsa wood and this big boy will be ready for launching again.

With summer approaching, there will be many more fun activities to participate in, including the Mountain Home AFB Airshow, and the 2018 Mountain Eagle  Encampment.

It’s going to be a great summer in southern Idaho!

Welcome!

Our squadron has moved into a new home on the web and we’d like to invite you in for a visit. We meet every Tuesday night at Gowen Field across from the Boise Airport. The Cadet Program is for students aged 12-21 who are looking to learn leadership, aerospace education and have some fun!

Adult members of CAP train for real world search and rescue missions, help mentor the Cadets and serve their local communities. CAP is a civilian, all volunteer member of the Total Force team that includes Air Force Active Duty, Air Force Reserve and the Air Guard.