High Desert Composite Squadron

Jim Wetherbee's Visit to the Squadron

March 21st - Tonight we had the honor of listening to retired astronaut Jim Wetherbee speak to our squadron about his life in aerospace. He has 6 shuttle flights, commanding 5 of them... the most of any American. He also talked about his career flying jets in the Navy before becoming an astronaut and making the transition to NASA

CAP High Desert Squadron in Veterans Day Parade 2016

November 11th - The High Desert Squadron opened the Veterans Day Parade with a flyover in our Cessna at the beginning of the parade.

Our Cadets marching in the parade included a four-person color guard, two Cadets carrying our banner supporting Wreaths Across America, and a marching flight.

Following behind the Cadets were two of our Veteran members on foot as well as our two unit vehicles being driven by two of our Senior members.

One Senior member stood over by Starbucks to collect donations to purchase wreaths for the Wreaths Across America program. To sponsor a wreath to go on a Veteran's grave during this holiday season, go to

Search and Rescue K9 Units Visit CAP

October 18th - Two search and rescue K9 units visited our squadron meeting on Tuesday. The dog's instructors taught the cadets about how the dogs use their senses to find missing or lost people. Afterwards, they gave a demonstration with some of our cadets hiding in the parking lot. Thank you Deschutes County Search and Rescue for coming!

Gentle Lady Flights

C/Amn Stalford launching Bravo Flight's glider

October 1st - Major Wissing and the cadets took the Gentle Lady gliders for their maiden flights on Saturday. The cadets have spent the past several months building the Gentle Ladies at D's Hobbies. Both gliders flew great and we had no crashes!

Bravo Flight glider assembly

Alpha Flight ready to launch!

C/MSgt Phillips and C/SMSgt 'Kidz Bop' Cook

11-13 Aug 2016--Lt Col Rogers Walker (left) was awarded the Counter-Drug Officer of the YearWe are honored to have him as a member of our squadron.  We appreciate Lt Col's unending efforts to fight drugs and the relationships he has built with local law enforcement along the way.  

Also pictured in the photo are Maj Bradley Naas, Aerospace Officer of the Year and C/2st Lt Simon Chuang, Cadet NCO of the Year.  Both of these individuals are from the Oregon Wing.  Oregon Wing was well-represented at the National Conference this year!

C/MSgt Cook buddy-box flying an R/C plane with James, an instructor at Bend Aero Modelers (BAM)

BAM held an open house/fundraiser and donated $100 to our Cadets!  Thank you, BAM!!!

C/Amn Stalford preparing to fly an R/C plane with the buddy-box with instructor James.

5 - 7 August 2016-- The High Desert Squadron hosted a Basic Marksmanship Event here in Bend.  Cadets from all over the Wing (State) participated.  The Cadets arrived Friday afternoon and set up their tents.  They studied gun safety and took a safety test in preparation for going to the firing range the next day.  The Cadets were at the range for several hours and received quality instruction from the certified instructors at the range.  The Cadets enjoyed the experience and felt good about having participated.

Saturday evening the Cadets had pizza as they visited and compared notes about the day's events. 

Sunday morning everyone had breakfast, said their farewells and headed back to their own squadrons with stories to tell of the great experience they enjoyed.

Cadets Solo at Flight Academy

Two Cadets from Civil Air Patrol's High Desert Squadron in Bend just returned from the Desert Eagle Flight Academy in Ephrata, WA.  They attended the twelve-day academy where they both achieved their first solo flight.  They graduated Sunday 31 July 2016.  

Cadet TSgt Phillips took powered flight lessons and Cadet MSgt Cook took glider lessons.  They both soloed in their respective aircraft.  Soloing is a hoped-for goal, but is not guaranteed.  Several factors can keep a Cadet from experiencing their first solo, including weather, paperwork issues and student ability or skill level.  While both Cadets from the High Desert Squadron were able to solo, not all Cadets in attendance got their first solo flight in.

There were a total of 18 students in the academy:  8 powered student, 8 basic glider and 2 advanced glider students.  

A typical day for the students began at 5:30 AM.  Most of the flying took place in the mornings because that is when the winds are calmer.  Some students flew while others ate breakfast, then they would rotate.  During the afternoons students received instruction in ground school, which consisted of lessons on how and why aircraft fly.  They also received talks from several guest speakers including the airport manager (Mike Wren), an -Thunderbird Pilot (Col. Kevin Mastin), a local Historian, and an Air Force Academy student.  Evenings were spent in studying and preparing for the next day.  Cadets also helped out in the kitchen, the laundry and in general clean-up.

The Cadets both say that they had an outstanding experience and they would recommend the academy to any Cadets interested in learning to fly.  They say they much appreciate the scholarships presented to them by the High Desert Squadron, which helped reduce the cost of the Academy.  They both plan to continue their flight training.

Stories in the news recently have indicated that there is a shortage of airline pilots in the industry. Whether these students pursue a career in civil or military aviation, they will be filling a void and their skills will be in demand.

C/MSgt Cook and C/TSgt Phillips have arrived at Desert Eagle Flight Academy in Ephrata, WA.  C/MSgt Cook will be training in gliders and C/TSgt Phillips will be training in a Cessna 172.  They will be undergoing intensive training in both ground school and actual flight.  They will graduate on July 31st.  When they return, they will have interesting stories to tell, so be sure to ask them about their experiences.

Tuesday 5 July 2016--C/CMSgt Tena is honored and thanked for his service as he prepares to ship out with the US Marines later this month.  The High Desert Squadron is thankful for the time he spent in our squadron and the leadership example he set for the Cadets.  While we are sad to see him go, we know that the Marines is gaining a good man.  Best wishes in this new stage of your life, C/SMSgt Tena!

Saturday 18 June 2016 -- Cadets participated in a carwash fundraiser at Bend Carwash, 225 NE Quimby.  Thank you Jim Davis, Manager of the Bend Carwash, for allowing us the opportunity to fundraise! Though it was a cold and cloudy day, we were able to raise $107.78!  Thank you Bend Carwash, and the patronizing community!

13-16 June 2016--Week Two of Exercises, Civil Air Patrol spent the second week, a CAP-only exercise, continuing to practice for the Cascadia event.  The second week scenario assumed the immediate response (that was practiced in the first week, along with other emergency response agencies) had been adequately handled, and the focus was upon secondary issues, such as examination of the infrastructure and planning for how best to deal with the aftermath of the disaster.  

7-10 June 2016--The High Desert Squadron, along with other CAP squadrons in Oregon, Washington and California are participating in a multi-agency emergency response exercise called Cascadia Rising.  The exercise is to prepare us to be of service when the predicted and overdue earthquake/tsunami occurs.  The Cascadia Subduction Zone runs off the coastline from northern California up to British Columbia.  Bend is expected to be the hub of communication during the real event, as roadways and normal communication channels are expected to be affected as far inland as the I-5 Corridor.

In photo, C/TSgt Phillips communicates via radio and records conversation on log sheet.

Here is a great article written by KBND Reporter Dave Jones:  Local Civil Air Patrol Trains in Cascadia Drill

A   VERY   Busy Weekend for the High Desert Squadron!

This weekend was the Constant Watch exercise to test our communications and connectivity.  Many members participated in this important event (photo coming soon) while . . . .

Other members provided a color guard and also helped with parking for the annual guat jamboree in Powell Butte (photo coming soon) while . . . 

Three of our pilots and one crew member attended the Mountain Flying Clinic which was hosted by our squadron and located in Vancouver, WA.

To see more photos from the weekend, visit our Photo Gallery.

9 April 2016 -- Our squadron took some time this morning to check over our radios and other equipment in preparation for the Comms/SAREX exercise coming up in a few weeks.  Foremost on many minds in the Emergency Services community is the predicted Cascadia event.  Our squadron will be among the major responders and communications will be of critical importance with the anticipated issues arising from the Cascadia event.  Both Senior and Cadet members were in attendance.  

Because it was such good weather, Capt Wissing was able to give several Cadets Orientation Rides in the Squadron's Cessna.  The O-Rides are a big hit with the Cadets.  Capt Wissing likes them too!  

It was a productive day and we all feel more prepared for our upcoming training exercise.

19 March 2016--  Our first Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) of the year!  This is when we practice to make sure we are trained, prepared and equipped in the event of a real search and rescue, such as a missing person or missing or downed airplane.   Our aircrew, ground crew and base station people all played a vital role in the completion of the mission and the testing of equipment.  We came away from the exercise feeling a sense of accomplishment as we look forward to more training and exercises throughout the year.  It is important to constantly practice what we do so that we are ready to jump into action when called upon.  It's what professionals do!

2 March 2016 
the Oregon National Guard Armory hosted an open house and invited the public.   A few of our Cadets were able to attend the open house and tour the facilities.  They got to see up close some of the vehicular equipment that was on hand and get a close look.  There was a display of a field mess "kitchen on wheels" where meals are prepared in the field.  There was a display of an assortment of MRE's that are used in the field when the mobile kitchen is unavailable, or it would otherwise not be practical to cook.  There was a command tent set up and displays of weapons, radios and other equipment.

In the photo, C/SMSgt Allison takes a ride in a Humvee during the open house event.

6 February 2016 -- The High Desert Squadron hosted a Mission Scanner course at the Bend airport.  Capt Wissing taught the class, which was interactive.  Capt Wissing promised it would not be "death by Powerpoint" and he was true to his word.  CAP members desiring training traveled from around the state to attend.  Capt Wissing combined video, discussion and some Powerpoint during the first half of the day.  The second half was comprised of hands-on training. Thank you, Capt Wissing, for making this important training so enjoyable with an easy-to-learn format!

Our newest member, SM Stearns, has passed her Level 1 and awarded her ribbon for the accomplishment.  Congratulations, SM Stearns, on accomplishing your Level 1, even before you have your uniform!  

WINTER ENCAMPMENT--Six High Desert Cadets attended Winter Encampment in Monmouth, Oregon.  Those cadets, from left to right, were: C/SrA Cook, C/TSgt Holmes, C/CMSgt Tena, C/A1C Solomon, C/SSgt Phillips and C/SMSgt Conklin.  Also attending the graduation ceremony were Lt Col Himstreet, who drove the cadets to/from encampment and also taught a class via Skype, Capt Conklin. who served on staff and Capt Wissing, our illustrious Commander.  

The encampment took place Dec 26 - Jan 2nd.  The cadets lived and breathed CAP, military drill and discipline, early morning PT at 0600, inspections, and classes covering a myriad of topics from lifestyle to the history and importance of air power, to problem-solving.  A welcome break included a trip to the Salem Air National Guard facility were they toured Blackhawks. Lakotas, Humvees and drones.  

The High Desert Squadron is very proud of the accomplishment of these cadets!  (See Photo Gallery.)

16 Dec 2015--The first time we have had a Felix mission in two months.  Bend Base opened up at 1000 hrs and prepared for the mission.  Our aircraft was to be the target of interest, but the mission got cancelled before noon because of of the Air Force jets has a mechanical malfunction and was unable to make the mission.  

Because of wintery conditions, our aircraft had to be thawed out in preparation for the mission.  So that the efforts of the aircrew were not a total waste, the aircrew went on a proficiency flight to qualify a member on searching for an emergency locator transmitter.  It is good for the air crew to gain experience and proficiency at every available opportunity.  

15 December 2015--Our squadron reached our goal of number of wreaths sold for Wreaths Across America--our squadron sold over 200 wreaths--and was awarded wit a pizza party!  The Wreaths Across America event was a huge success!

Saturday 12 December 2015 at 0900 SHARP the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony took place at Deschutes Memorial Gardens.  The ceremony was officiated by Bob Shaw of KTVZ.  Veterans from all branches of Service participated in the ceremony.  We had a large turn-out, and it was standing room only in the chapel. Participants also came from the Navy Sea Cadets, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Daughters of the American Revolution.  

The ceremony consisted of color guards, a rifle salute, a bag piper and a bugler.  There was the opening invocation, salute to the flag, the pledge of allegiance and the National Anthem.  After the inside ceremony, we went outside to place wreaths at the Veterans' Memorial and on Veterans' graves.  Please visit our photo gallery for photos of the event.
To view the ceremony on YouTube, click here.


Saturday, 5 December 2015, the High Desert Composite Squadron held our annual Christmas party at the VFW Hall.  Thank you, VFW, for the use of the facilities!  We had a good turnout, with many of out members and their families present.  The party was potluck style, with lots of good food and good fellowship.

Capt Burns MC'ed the event.  Capt Campbell offered our Safety Moment.  Capt Lang offered our Invocation.  Capt Wissing showed us a PowerPoint presentation, recapping our activities in 2015.  1st Lt Kennedy updated us on the number or wreaths sold for Wreaths Across America project; this year we are laying 504 wreaths on veterans' graves during our ceremony at Deschutes Memorial Gardens.  Lt Col Himstreet shared with us about the work he has been doing with the Cadets this year and the Cadets' accomplishments.  Our guest speaker, Lucy Brackett, talked to us about our heritage and our beginnings, becoming an organization six days before entering WWII, and about her Rosie the Riveter mother and how WWII affected her family as well as all of us.

Thank you to all that made it out to the party and helped make it a success.  Those of you who couldn't come, you were missed.

2 Dec 2015--This evening Bend Mayor Jim Clinton Proclaimed the 2nd Saturday of each December to be Wreaths Across America in Bend day.

1st Lt Kennedy spoke to the City Council, thanking Mayor Clinton and the Council for the Proclamation.

The Proclamation that Mayor Jim Clinton presented. Thank you Mayor Clinton and the members of the Bend City Council for helping us to honor our Veterans in this way!

Color Guard in Veterans Day Parade

Color Guard Cadets: Holmes, Tena, Conklin, and McCaa

Wreathes Across America Banner

Cadet Banner Carriers: McKee and Himstreet. To honor a Veteran by donating a wreath for a Veteran's grave, visit

Preparing to Move Out for Parade

Marching Cadets: Christensen, Phillips, Allison, Solomon, and Cook.

Saturday November 7th 2015 -- Some members of our squadron met in front of Wal-Mart during the afternoon to collect donations to put wreaths on Veterans' graves during the Christmas season.  We collected enough to purchase 17 wreaths!  Thank you to all who participated:  Lt Col Himstreet, Capt Wissing, 1st Lt Kennedy, 2nd Lt Phillips, C/SrA Phillips, C/A1C Cook and C/Amn Himstreet.    And a big Thank You to Wal-Mart for letting us raise funds for this worthy cause out in front of their store!

If you would like to honor Veterans by purchasing a wreath for a grave, you can do so by going to  The wreaths are only $15.

Saturday morning November 7th 2015 -- Capt Wissing and Lt Col Himstreet performed a fly-over at the memorial service of Veteran Lorin Myring.  Myring participated in the first wave at Iwo Jima.  He was also a member of the Band of Brothers. 

28 Oct 2015--Special Guest from Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) joined our USAF/CAP Joint Exercise.  SrA Milton from WADS, out of McChord AFB, Tacoma, WA, visited our exercise today.  SrA Milton is a member of both the Air Force and CAP, and wanted a chance to see what the mission looked like from our end of the spectrum.  SrA Milton is a 1st LT in CAP.  

The Bend Base operations were run by Lt Col Sandner and IC, Capt Lang as AOBD and Capt Coffman as MRO.  Lt Col Himstreet, 2nd Lt Rambo, and C/SrA Phillips assisted at Base.  The TOI was flown by Col Bishop with Maj Ouellette as Mission Observer, both of Pacific Coast Region.  Their passenger was SrA Milton of WADS.  The Highbird was flown Maj Ireson, with 1st Lt Kirk as the Mission Scanner, both of Salem.  Lt Col Ham was the Mission Observer, from Pacific Coast Region.  Capt Campbell of Bend was Standby Pilot.  The SUV was driven by 2nd Lt Dresler, with Maj Parker as Navigator and 2nd Lt Phillips operating the radios.

Because of the weather and cloud cover, today's mission called for adaptability and good communications during the mission.  Everyone involved did an excellent job and the mission was a success!

14 Oct 2015--our first Felix USAF/CAP joint exercise conducted in our new Bend Base location!  

The Incident Commander was Major Ouellette of the Pacific Coast Region.  Lt Col Sandner and Capt Wissing acted as the Air Operations Branch Director at Bend Base.  Capt Burns was AOBD-in-Training, and Capt Coffman was the Mission Radio Operator, all from the High Desert Squadron.

The target aircraft was flown by Capt Kelly, with 1st Lt Tenkate as the Mission Observer and Capt Cage as the Mission Scanner, all from the Hillsboro Composite Squadron.  The high-bird was flown by Maj Rosenthal with Capt Bakker as his co-pilot, both of the Medford Composite Squadron.

The CAP SUV was driven by 2nd Lt Phillips, with Maj Parker as Navigator, with 2nd Lt Dresler and C/SrA Phillips as Radio Operators.  The standby aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing, Lt Col Himstreet and 2nd Lt Phillips, all of the High Desert Squadron.

It was a successful mission on all fronts.  The air mission went well, the SUV maintained communication with the air and ground, and internet and radio both worked great in our new building!

USAF Exercise-- 30 September 2015

FELIX 30 Sept 2015

On September 30, 2015 the High Desert Squadron participated in another USAF-CAP joint exercise.  

The Incident Commander was Major Ouellette of the Pacific Coast Region.  Lt Col Walker acted as the Air Operations Branch Director at Bend Base, with Capt Wissing as Air Operations Branch Director In Training.  Capt Lang was the Mission Staff Assistant, Capt Coffman was the Communications Unit Leader, and Col Wakefield was the Mission Radio Operator, all from the High Desert Squadron.

The target aircraft was flown by Capt Kelly, with Capt Cage as the Mission Observer and 1st Lt Tenkate as the Mission Scanner, all from the Hillsboro Composite Squadron.  The high-bird was flown by Lt Col Schulz of the Metro Senior Squadron, with Maj Shoemaker of Oregon Wing as the Mission Observer and 2nd Lt Snell of the Metro Senior Squadron was the Mission Scanner.  

The CAP SUV was driven by Maj Parker.  2nd Lt Dresler and C/SrA Phillips, both of the High Desert Squadron acted as Navigator and Radio Operator.  The standby aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing, Lt Col Himstreet and 2nd Lt Phillips, all of the High Desert Squadron.

It was a beautiful day with good weather.  Mission was safely accomplished.  Good job, everyone!

Oregon Wing Conference--The High Desert Squadron was represented at the 2015 Oregon Wing Conference by several members of our Squadron.  Our squadron received Oregon Wing Squadron of the Year Award.  Congratulations, High Desert!  Several members of our squadron received individual awards for their dedication and leadership. 

The Conference was held at the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnville.  During the day, our members attended their choice of breakout sessions ranging from Wing Opps to Airborne Photography, Safety, Uniform Protocol, Cadet Advisory Council and the relatively new NCO Program. 

In the evening, an awards banquet was held under the tail of the Spruce Goose.  After dinner, we were invited tour the museum and look at aircraft, as well as tour the Spruce Goose.  Besides the classes, airplanes and food, the networking and meeting other members from around the Wing was an invaluable experience.   See Photos!

September 10, 2015--Congratulations to Lt Stokes, who is our Squadron's newest instrument-rated Transport Mission Pilot!  Capt Lang and Capt Campbell flew Lt Stokes to Pearson Field for his check-ride with Maj Weichman.  

Labor Day Weekend 2015--The High Desert Squadron hosted a glider flying orientation event at the Prineville Airport. The two gliders and the tow plane were provided by the Washington Wing of Civil Air Patrol.  The gliders were piloted by Lt Col Youtsler and Lt Col Widrig.  The tow pilot was Capt Rojas.  

In addition to the glider rides, there were also orientation rides in powered aircraft and tethered hot air balloon rides.  The powered rides were piloted by Maj Ireson and Capt Trujillo of Salem and Capt Wissing of Bend.  The tethered balloon rides were provided by Capt Trujillo.

In an achievement that we believe to be a first for Civil Air Patrol, a few Cadets flew in all three craft in the same day.  The first Cadet to do so was our own C/Amn Christensen, who had previously never flown in anything except a recent flight in a commercial jet.  

The event was such a success, we plan to do more of these in the future! See Photo Gallery

August 8, 2015---Our squadron had the privilege of guarding a WWII-era P-51 aircraft at the Bend airport.  The aircraft was there as part of AirLink's 30th Anniversary celebration.  The P-51 had flown in from the Erickson Aircraft Collection (EAC), a museum of interesting aircraft, based in Madras.  The High Desert Squadron watched the aircraft during the event and overnight.

August 9, 2015---AirLink hosted a pancake breakfast to benefit Civil Air Patrol as a "thank you" for watching the P-51 during the weekend.

A big Thank You to AirLink and to Erickson Aviation Collection!

USAF Exercise -- 29 June 2015

On 29 July 2015 the High Desert Squadron participated in a joint CAP-USAF exercise  by providing ground and base support for this exercise.

The primary aircraft was piloted by Lt Col Schulz of the Vancouver Squadron as the Mission Pilot (MP), with Maj Shoemaker as the Mission Observer (MO), and Maj Dryden  as the Mission Scanner (MS).   The crew of the communications relay aircraft came from the Medford Composite Squadron and consisted of Capt Witters as the Mission Pilot (MP), Capt Belknap as the Mission Observer (MO), and Capt Muller as Mission Scanner (MS).  An additional aircraft was piloted by Maj Ouellette from the Pacific Coast Region. 

The High Desert squadron supplied the back-up aircraft, with Capt Wissing as the Mission Pilot (MP), Lt Col Wakefield as the Mission Observer (MO) and 2nd Lt Phillips as the Mission Scanner (MS).

The High Desert Squadron was responsible for the Communication Ground vehicle operations.  SM Dresler was the driver,  Maj Parker was the navigator and handled communications.

Maj Sandner served as the Incident Commander.

At Base, Capt Lang was Air Operations Branch Director.  Capt Coffman was the Mission Radio Operator, assisted by Lt Col Wakefield.  2nd Lt Phillips assisted with data entry on the computer.

Another successful exercise with experience gained by all.


A good outcome !

On 23-June, Deschutes County Search & Rescue (SAR) called on our squadron to assist in a search they had initiated the day before when a biker in Sunriver was reported missing.  We quickly assembled a team and joined the search in the afternoon.

Our aircrew consisted of Capt Campbell as Mission Pilot, Capt Wissing as Mission Observer and Senior Member Highstreet as Mission Scanner. Maj Andre and Maj Parker manned our mobile communications team serving as Mission Radio Operators to rely communications between our aircraft and mission base.

At Mission Base, Maj Sandner served as Air Operations Branch Director with Maj Ouellette as CAP Incident Commander (IC), Lt Husband of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office was IC for the SAR team which was led by C. Hellis.

While the "lost" person was not found that day, he thankfully returned home the following day which terminated the search.

There was excellent coordination between the CAP and SAR teams, both of which performed flawlessly. Thank you for every who responded so quickly and executed so well.


On 17 June 2015 the High Desert Squadron participated in a joint CAP-USAF exercise  by providing ground and base support for this exercise.

The primary aircraft was supplied by the Metropolitan Senior Squadron and crewed by  Capt Trujilo as the Mission Pilot (MP), with  Lt Col Wyza as the Mission Observer (MO), and Capt Case  as the Mission Scanner (MS).   The crew of the communications relay aircraft came from the Salem Composite Squadron and consisted of Maj Fraser as the Mission Pilot (MP) and Lt Col Schultz as the Mission Observer (MO).  An additional aircraft was piloted by Maj Ouellette from the Pacific Coast Region. 

The High Desert squadron supplied the back-up aircraft, with Capt Lang as the Mission Pilot (MP), Capt Wissing as the Mission Observer (MO) and SM Himstreet as the Mission Scanner (MS).

The High Desert Squadron was responsible for the Communication Ground vehicle operations.  2nd Lt Phillips was the driver,  Maj Parker was the navigator and communications was handled by SM Dresler and Cadet Phillips.

Maj Ouellette from Pacific Region served as the Incident Commander.

At Base, Capt Lang was Air Operations Branch Director and Capt Coffman was the Mission Radio Operator.  Cadet Phillips assisted with data entry on the computer before deploying in the SUV.

Another successful exercise with experience gained by all.


Please help us . . . Remember, Honor, and Teach - By thanking a veteran.

Each wreath purchased will be placed on a veteran's grave at Deschutes Memorial Gardens during our Wreaths Across America ceremony on Dec. 12th. 2015. 

Come and join us in honoring our military heroes. So that we may never forget the sacrifices that they made for our freedom.

Don't say I should have. Say I did.  

For a $15 gift (tax deductible), a wreath will be placed on a veteran's grave. To make your gift  go to

 * A portion of each sale also helps support our local CAP squadron activities. Thank you for your support.


The High Desert Squadron hosted a state-wide Mountain Flying Clinic over the weekend of June 13-14 at the Prineville Airport.  Civil Air Patrol Pilots and some flight crew personnel came from various squadrons throughout Oregon to attend.  The class was taught by Dr. Amy Hoover, the highly acclaimed instructor and well-respected pilot of  The first day was all classroom, where Amy covered topics like how wind patterns, times of day, temperatures, and terrain affect how much turbulence you can expect in different locations at various altitudes.  She also talked about survival gear:  what to carry with you in the airplane, and what to carry on your person in the airplane.  In an emergency, you may not have the luxury of time to dig around for your survival kit.  Amy wears a vest with a bunch of little pockets where she keeps things she absolutely wants with her in an emergency.

The second day, the pilots and flight crews got to go out and gain practical experience dealing with the exact same phenomenon that was taught in class.  Before each flight, the pilots reviewed their scenarios and maps of the areas they'd be flying into and planned accordingly.  The class was excellent and everyone learned something they could put to use in their flying and their every day lives.

The reason Civil Air Patrol has classes such as the Mountain Flying Clinic and others is to keep our pilots on the cutting edge of proficiency.  When the CAP is called out on a search for a downed plane and/or missing person, chances are that the incident occurred in more dangerous terrain, not out in the open.  Our pilots appreciate the extra training they receive with CAP because it helps them in these types of situations.  After all, it does not do anyone any good for a search pilot, crew and plane to go out on a search just to need to be searched for themselves.  This extensive and ongoing training helps the CAP to keep that from happening. It also helps us to more effectively perform our searches and minimize the time it takes to locate and rescue the ones needing our help.

The High Desert Squadron was pleased to host the flying clinic.  We had close to 30 pilots and crew members in attendance for this event.  Thank you to everyone who attended, and a big Thank You to the hard-working members of the High Desert Squadron who planned and set up this event!


Congratulations to Capt Lang on becoming our newest Mission Pilot.

In addition to all his contributions to our Squadron and Oregon Wing, Capt Lang can now pilot our Emergency Services missions and exercises as well.

Well done, Sir !


On Sunday 7 June 2015, the High Desert Squadron was out in force cleaning up the section of Hwy 97 that has been adopted by our squadron, approximately at milepost 131.  Several people driving by acknowledged us with a friendly toot of their horn. 

While beautifying the highway by removing trash, we were surprised at some of the items we discovered:
Someone lost a large package of hamburger buns.  Someone else lost a debit card.  We found a machete and a "morale" flag.  Of course, there was the usual stuff:  cans, big-gulp containers, misc. food wrappers, empty cigarette packs.  It looks like some people still subscribe to unhealthful habits.  On the other hand, it appears that some people are taking care of their dental hygiene; we found tooth flosses.

Maj Andre was in charge of our group.  Capt Campbell was our safety officer.  Maj Parker drove the CAP SUV, scurrying between the two teams, refreshing us with supplies and water.  The other participants were:  Capt Lang, 1st Lt Kennedy, 2nd Lt Phillips, SM Dresler, SM Codey and C/Amn Phillips.

We all like to do our part to help keep our roads clean.  Thank you to all who participated!


On 27-May-2015 the High Desert Squadron participated in yet another USAF exercise by providing ground and base support for this exercise; this was the second exercise in a week!

The Medford Squadron supplied the crew for the primary aircraft:  1st Lt Wood was the Mission Pilot (MP),  Capt Belknap was the Mission Observer (MO), and Maj Miller was the Mission Scanner (MS).   The crew of the communications relay aircraft came from Salem and consisted of Maj Ireson as the Mission Pilot (MP), TSgt Dukes as the Mission Observer (MO) and 1st Lt Kirk was the Mission Scanner (MS). 

The High Desert squadron was responsible for the back-up aircraft, with Maj Campbell as the Mission Pilot (MP), Capt Wissing as the Mission Observer (MO) and 2nd Lt Rambo as the Mission Scanner (MS).

The High Desert Squadron was responsible for the Communication Ground vehicle operations.  Maj Parker was the driver, 2nd Lt Phillips was the communications officer. Senior Member Dresler and Cadet Phillips rounded out the SUV crew.

Maj Ouellette from Pacific Region served as the Incident Commander.

At Base, Maj Sandner was Air Operations Branch Director and Capt Coffman was the Mission Radio Operator.

One more successful mission to add to our resume and everyone did an outstanding job!


Base Operations:

Maj Sandner (AOBD)

Capt Coffman (MRO)


                  Relay Unit atop

    Pine Mountain

The High Desert Squadron participated in another USAF exercise on 20-April-2015 by providing ground and base support for this exercise.

Coming from the Metropolitan Senior Squadron, Lt Col Schultz was the Mission Pilot (MP) and Maj Widell was the Mission Observer(M) for the primary aircraft.  The crew of the communications relay aircraft (from Washington County Composite Squadron) consisted of Capt Widell as MP and Capt Cage as the MO.

The High Desert Squadron was responsible for the Communication Ground vehicle operations. 2nd Lt Phillips was the driver, Maj Parker was the communications officer. Senior Member Dresler and Cadet Phillips rounded out the SUV crew.

Maj Ouellette from Pacific Region served as the Incident Commander.

At Base, Maj Sandner was Air Operations Branch Director and Capt Coffman was the Mission Radio Operator. Senior Member Himstreet assisted at Base.

Capt Campbell was the Mission Pilot for the backup aircraft with Capt Wissing as Mission Observer and 2nd Lt Rambo as Mission Scanner.

Another successful mission—good job, everyone!


On Friday May 16, 2015, the High Desert Squadron participated in the Constant Watch 2015 exercise.  The exercise is a National level annual event designed to test our communications equipment and train/practice for the communications support role of the CAP/USAF Auxiliary.  This communication capability will be critical in the event of an emergency, so it is important to test, train, practice and be prepared.  Members of the High Desert squadron who participated in Friday's exercise were:  Capt Lang, Communications Unit Leader; Mission Staff Assistant; Capt Coffman, Mission Radio Operator; Capt Wolf, Mission Staff Assistant.  Also participating in the event were:  Lt Col Walker, Maj Parker, Capt Wissing, 2nd Lt Phillips, SM Dresler, SM Himstreet and C/Amn Phillips.


The 14th annual Central Oregon Goat Association Goat Jamboree was held in Powell Butte on May 16, 2015.  The purpose of the Jamboree was to educate goat enthusiast of all ages regarding goat care, feeding, and showmanship.  The event was attended by approximately two hundred people and CAP High Desert Squadron provided colors for the opening ceremony, parking directions, and other coordinating activities.
Way to go, Cadets!


Wednesday evening 13 May 2015, SM Himstreet spoke at the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association)'s Young Eagles meeting.  He presented on the history and mission of CAP and how CAP's Cadet Program compliments the mission of EAA's Young Eagles.  CAP's Aerospace Education helps Cadets take what they learn from STEM classes in school and put it to practical use in a fun and safe environment.

Thank you, Sir, for sharing your expertise and spreading the CAP word !


Congratulations to 1st Lt Kennedy. His promotion will be formally recognized at our June Meeting. 


Congratulations to our newest Mission Pilot - Capt Campbell.

It takes lots of training and work, even for a retired 747 Captain. Well done, Capt Campbell !

We look forward to flying with you.


Congratulations to our new cadets who earned the Curry Award and were promoted to Cadet Airman at our May 5 Squadron Meeting.

(Additional photos can be found on the Cadets page.)


Congratulations to our new Senior Members who just successfully completed Level 1

SM Himstreet                              SM Dresler

 USAF EXERCISE  -  29-April

Another USAF exercise was successfully conducted on 29-Apr-2015.  High Desert Squadron supported this exercise as Base for multiple units from throughout Oregon Wing.

The flight crew for the primary aircraft consisted of Maj Weichman from Metro Squadron as Mission Pilot, Maj Shoemaker from Wing Headquarters as Mission Observer and 2nd Lt Beckman from Metro as Mission Scanner.  Capt Kelly from Washington County Squadron served as Mission Pilot and Lt Col Wyza from Salem Squadron was the Mission Observer for the communications relay aircraft.

High Desert was responsible for the Communication Ground vehicle operations. 2nd Lt Phiilips was the driver, Maj Parker was the communications officer. Senior Member Dresler and Cadet Phillips rounded out the SUV crew.

At Base, Capt Lang was the Air Operations Branch Director and Capt Coffman was the Mission Radio Operator. 

Capt Campbell was the Mission Pilot for the backup aircraft with Senior Member Himstreet as Mission Scanner.

Maj Ouellette, Director of Operations for the Pacific Region, served as Incident Commander, having overall responsibility for this exercise. He was supported by Maj Sandner the Director of Operations for Oregon Wing.

Well done !

SAREX  -  25-April-2015

A Wing-wide SAREX was executed on 25-April. Multiple aircraft were involved and ground team training was conducted in Mill City on 24-25 May

The Bend team provided Base and Mobile Ground Communications support. Our participants were Maj Andre, Maj Parker, Capt Burns, Capt Campbell, Capt Lang and Capt Wissing.

As a result of their participation in Mill City, the following Squadron Members only need one more sortie to earn their Ground Team Leader Level 3 (GMT3) qualification: 2d Lt Kennedy, 2d Lt Phillips, SM Dresler, SM Himstreet, Cadet Allison and Cadet Phillips

USAF EXERCISE  -  21-April

On 21-April-2015, members from multiple Oregon Wing Squadrons contributed to the success of another USAF exercise.

Major Ireson of the Salem Squadron was the Mission Pilot for the primary aircraft. Maj Walsh & Captain Young performed MO & MS duties.

Supporting this exercise was a communications relay aircraft and a ground communication relay unit.  Maj Fraser from Metro Squadron was the aircraft's Mission Pilot and Maj Breniser from Metro served as Mission Observer.

High Desert staffed the ground communication vehicle. Maj Parker was the Driver and Mission Radio Operator, with Senior Member Dresler and Cadet Phillips as passengers.

At Base in Bend, Capt Lang served as Air Operations Branch Director and Capt Coffman was the Mission Radio Operator. Maj Ouellette, the Pacific Region's Director of Operations, directed the exercise as Incident Commander, supported by Maj Sandner , Oregon Wing's Director of Operations.

Everyone performed their roles flawlessly.


On Saturday, April 4, Central Oregon First Aid conducted at class at Pro-Air for Squadron Members and family. This four hour class covered both First Aid and AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

As a result, the following are now certified for the next two years:

Maj Andre, Maj Parker, Capt Wissing, 1st Lt Crandall, 2nd Lt Kennedy, 2nd Lt Rambo, SM Dresler, SM Phillips, C/SrA Holmes, Cadet Phillips, Mrs. Holmes.

Congratulations and thank you for preparing to potentially save a life.


Members from across Oregon Wing participated in a Communications Exercise Saturday March 21.   Several aircraft and ground crews highlighted this event.

There was an excellent turn-out from High Desert Squadron; 12 Senior members and 1 Cadet from Klamath Falls were in attendance.

HD Squadron was tasked with a recon flight both west and east of the Cascade range. Due to extremely high winds at our Redmond Airport mission  base, our aircraft was not able to participate in the morning.

We did not just "lay around though". Two Ground sorties were generated and tasked to make contact with various communication sites throughout the State to test the Vehicle communication systems. Rapid Deployment Package (RDP) HF radio unit was set up at Mission base and provided a

learning opportunity for all. For unknown reasons however, we had difficulty making proper/audible contact with other remote locations. But, we did earn great experience in setting it up, thanks to Captain Coffman and Major Sandner.

In the afternoon, sky's began to clear and wind subsided, so N9883E did make it into the air. The aircrew consisting of Captain Wissing, Major Andre, & Cadet Lt Col. Dustin Brewer were able to perform part of the originally tasked mission.

There were lots of snacks and coffee, snacks at Mission Base so no one left hungry. We finished all Sorties, cleaned up, and closed Mission Base 1630 hours. 

Thanks to all for their hard work on this mission and dedication to the Civil Air Patrol.


Effective, 3-Mar-2015, Squadron meetings will be held in Room 155 of the Boyle Education Center at Central Oregon Community College (COCC). Meetings will begin at at the same time - 19:00.


Congratulations to 2nd Lt Faye Phillips whose promotion was recognized at our 3-March all-squadron meeting.

She was a highly successful Cadet having achieved the grade of Cadet Second Lieutenant a number of years ago. Now that her family and career are well established she chose to rejoin the organization for which we are grateful.

Please join in welcoming her to our Squadron.


Congratulations to the following members who were recognized at our 3-March all-Squadron meeting. Well done, Gentlemen !

Maj Andre

Homeland Security ribbons were earned by

Major Andre and Capt Wolf

Capt Wolf

2nd Lt Kennedy receiving Emergency Services Technician badge

                       2nd Lt Kennedy

2nd Lt Crandall receiving Two Year ribbon

2nd Lt Crandall


The exercise was conducted during the morning of 18 February. 

In order to expand our Wing's aircrew training, flight crews for both the Primary and "High Bird" relay aircraft consisted of members from our High Desert Squadron as well as those from the "other side" including both Mission Pilots.

The exercise was conducted during the morning of 18 February. Maj Weichman (Metropolitan Senior Squadron) was the Mission Pilot, Maj Shoemaker (Oregon Wing) was the Mission Observer and 2nd Lt Rambo (High Desert) was the Mission Scanner for the Primary aircraft. The High Bird crew consisted of  Lt Col Schultz (Metropolitan Senior) as the Mission Pilot, Capt Campbell as the Mission Observer and Lt Col Walker as the Mission Scanner.

Capt Land served as the Air Operations Branch Director at Mission Base, supported by Capt Coffman as Mission Radio Operator. Maj Parker and Capt Wolf staffed the SUV serving as the mobile relay unit. Col Longley had overall responsibility as the Incident Commander, supported by Maj Sandner who delivered the Aircrew briefings and oversaw Mission Base operations.

Execution, as usual, was flawless.

Great job, everyone!

Following this exercise, the two aircraft were redirected to support a search being conducted in the Lakeview area (see below)


Following the USAF exercise noted above, both aircraft were immediately diverted to the Lakeview area joining in a search for a missing person.
Regrettably the person was not found even after a three day search involving five CAP airplanes. Overall almost 45 hours were flown.
Our aircrews got close to their safety maximum of eight hours of flight time and were nearing the completion of a full duty day so they returned to Bend, landing in the dark.


It was a dark and stormy night - but another Find for our Squadron.

More specifically, Maj Andre, Maj Parker and our Commander, Capt Wissing, went out on a mission on Friday night, 6-Feb to search for an ELT which was transmitting in the Hermiston Area. After driving through the night in heavy rain and wind and searching at multiple airports, they located the beacon in a private hanger and silenced it at around 0800 local time. They then returned to Bend arriving at 1330 on 7-Feb after travelling almost 600 miles.

A trying and tiring mission but yet another success.

Thank you gentlemen for your dedication and another outstanding performance.


On 28-Jan-15, we once again were called upon to support a USAF mission.

Capt Wissing was the Mission Pilot for our primary aircraft, supported by 2nd Lt Rambo in the right seat. The High Bird was piloted by Maj Ouelette with 2nd Lt Crandall as Mission Observer.

Our mobile communications relay vehicle was staffed by Maj Parker and Lt Kennedy,

Our Base operations consisted of Cap Lang as Air Operation Branch Director, Capt Wolf as Mission Staff Assistant, Capt Coffman as Mission Radio Operator and Lt Col Walker as Flight Release Officer.  Col Longley served as the,on-site, Incident Commander.

All CAP elements performed flawlessly.


At our 5-Jan Squadron meeting, the following Members were recognized for their efforts that resulted in a "Save" (Lifesaving with a star) for their mission on 22-Sep-14:  Lt Col Walker, Maj Parker, Maj Sandner, Capt Campbell, Capt Lang, Capt Wissing and Capt Wolf.

They also were recognized along with Maj Andre and 2nd Lt Kennedy for the successful Search they conducted on 29-Oct-14.

Well done to all !!


Congratulations to Capt Wolf whose promotion was recognized at our 5-Jan Squadron meeting.


Welcome to new member - 2nd Lt Stalford !

Lt Stalford transferred from a Phoenix AZ Squadron to our High Desert Squadron at the end of October.

She is an active pilot and has participated in Green Flag exercises with the USAF.

Please welcome Lt Stalford and make her feel comfortable in her new family.


On 18-December we participated in a joint exercise with the USAF.

Base Operations was staffed by Lt Col Walker as Air Operation Branch Director, Capt Lang as Mission Staff Assistant, and Maj Sandner as Flight Release Officer and Mission Radio Operator.

Our Aircrew was comprised of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Capt Wolf as Mission Observer and 2nd Lt Rambo as Mission Scanner.

Our mobile communications relay Ground Team consisted of Maj Parker and Capt Burns.

Col Longley, our Wing Commander, and Maj Ouellette, Director of Operations for the Pacific Region, were present to observe our activities which all were well executed.


Congratulations to the following Cadets for their hard earned and well deserved promotions in December:
Cadet Conklin: C/TSgt
Cadet Allison: C/A1C
Cadet Holmes: C/A1C
Cadet Tena: C/A1C
And special recognition to  Cadet Cuthbert: C/CMSgt who earned the Neil Armstrong award, the highest NCO award for Cadets.

Well done !
See ceremony photos on the Cadets' page - Link


Thank you to Lt Col Potter for shepherding our efforts on the Wreaths Across America (WAA) program conducted on Saturday, December 13.

A summary drawing from Col Potter’s comments follows -

Eight current and former CAP members and cadet parents were present, including Lt Col Potter, Lt Col Walker, Capt Campbell, Capt Conklin, Capt Lang, C/CMSgt Cuthbert, Ms Cuthbert, Mr Sharp. Eight or nine ladies from the Daughters of the American Revolution were in attendance as well.


The CAP members got to meet and greet the DAR ladies, which was followed by a program that was different than we have done before – after an opening prayer expressing our thankfulness for our veterans, both living and dead, and imploring a wish of safety of their descendants and families, and us all, we heard from many of those present. 

Veteran attendees were asked to tell something of their service which was enlightening to all. Two of the DAR ladies who also are veterans spoke of their service as well. 

Lt Col Potter has already formed a starter committee to work on the Wreaths Across America program for 2015. The date will be December 12, 2015. 

Thank you to all who participated and showed their respect and appreciation to those who have served our Country.

More information about Wreaths Across America can be found at


As a result of the excellent performance (Gold award) in Round 1, our CyberPatriot High School Team led by Cadets C. Cuthbert and J. Cuthbert participated in Round 2 and finished third in the State!

Well done Cadets! And a special thank you to Mrs L. Cuthbert who was their coach.

You can learn more about the CyberPatriot at


On 11 December, 2nd Lt Massey conducted a terrific class on FAA Charts and Publications which included some excellent scenario based material from AOPA.

Lt Col Walker, Capt Campbell, Capt Lang, 1st Lt Wolf, 2nd Lt Kennedy and 2nd Lt Rambo were the attentive "students".

Rather than being "dry" and "bookish". the class was quite lively and interactive with everyone learning far more than they expected.

The was the second in a series of classes that being orchestrated by our Professional Development Officer Capt Lang who also hosted the event.  It's expected that the next class, probably addressing "Airspace", will take place in January.

Thank you, Lt Massey, and Capt Lang!


Our Middle School Team competed in Round One of the 2014 CyberPatriot challenge on 22 November. The team consisted on C/A1C Huggin, C/Amn Bennett and C/Amn Holmes, lead by their teacher/coach Mrs. Cuthbert. 1st Lt Wolf provide support as a technical mentor. They did remarkably well considering this was the first time they participated.

Round Two is scheduled for 5 December.


On 20-November, we supported another USAF exercise. 

Our aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Maj Andre as Mission Observer and 2nd Lt Crandall as Mission Scanner. 

The base team consisted of Capt Lang as Air Operations Base Director, 1st Lt Wolf as Mission Staff Assistant, Capt Coffman as Mission Radio Operator. Maj Sandner was the Flight Release Officer.

Our mobile communications relay unit was staffed by Maj Parker and Capt Burns.

Capt Campbell also participated as a backup flight crew member.  Maj Ouellette from the Pacific Region flew in to observe the exercise.

Everyone performed flawlessly and the exercise was a complete success. 


Our Squadron had the opportunity to honor our Country's veterans by participating in Bend's Veteran's Day parade on November 11.

Our Cadets looked sharp (see photo), our SUV looked great in the bright sunlight and several Senior Members rounded out our parade entry.

Especially noteworthy was our aircraft doing several, low altitude fly-overs including two passes right above Wall Street. The spectators (particularly the youngsters) were quite impressed. Several stated they wanted to be a pilot when they grew up and/or join the USAF when they were old enough. Way to go, Capt Wissing and Maj Andre !

Thanks to all who braved the cold weather to participate.

PS: After the Bend parade, Capt Wissing and Maj Andre flew to Madras to do a flyover for their parade as well.


Recognizing the contributions that CAP has made to the the State of Oregon, Governor Kitzhaber has declared the week of December 1-7, 2014 "Civil Air Patrol Week"


Congratulations to the following Senior Members who were recognized for completing at least ten homeland security exercises:

Capt. Wissing, Capt. Lang, Capt. Campbell, Col. Walker and Maj. Parker.

Since these normally take place during the week, it is difficult for working members to participate but it still takes a commitment of time and priority setting for those who have accomplished these exercises. Thank you, Gentlemen.

Capt Campbell receiving ribbon

                  Maj Parker receiving ribbon

LtCol Walker receiving ribbon


The High Desert Squadron was called upon for a search of an Emergency Locator Beacon that was set off in NE OR. The signal was an indication that a aircraft might have crashed. Often these ELTs are set off inadvertently but occasionally, and in this case, they are the result of a real world event.

On October 29, we had a successful mission that resulted in a find of an aircraft that had a catastrophic accident. Everyone on the mission performed admirably, just as they were trained. The mission is best summarized by the following message that was sent out by our Squadron Commander, Capt Wissing.

High Desert Squadron,

Yesterday and today we were involved in a real life ELT mission. 
Last night we could not get through to Pendleton because of the weather. We got close to John Day and had to turn back the rain was so bad.
This morning we launched at around 0850 and located the beacon at around 1015. A Cessna 206 had run off a private runway and turned over on it's back, causing substantial damage. Luckily the pilot walked away physically unscathed. We could not identify the crash scene from the air as there was morning fog in the valley.
There is more to the story, and we will tell all at the next meeting!

Once again, the Black Sheep came through and did the job. Not only did we locate the ELT, but LtCol Walker and Maj Parker turned it off at the scene. They drove for hours and need to be commended for their hard work and diligence.
The aircrew flew for close to 6 hours and proved that training hard makes these results possible.
Maj Sandner manned the Mission Base at the Bend Airport and spent a lot of time on the CAP radios and his cellphone coordinating the mission!
All in all, this was a great team effort and I am extremely proud of our Squadron!
Trust me when I say we are all exhausted and are all in need of some serious sleep.

My sincere thanks go to LtCol Walker, Maj's Ouellette, Sandner and Parker, Capt's Campbell and Lang, as well as Lt's Kennedy and Wolf."

Well done!


On October 2, we had a communications exercise with WA Wing using our Rapid Deployment Package (RDP)  HF radio. We successfully communicated with the RDP the WA Wing had set up in Walla Walla.

Our team consisted on LtCol Walker, Capt Campbell, Capt Coffman, Capt Lang and 2nd Lt Kennedy. Thank you to Capt Lang for allowing us to set up the antenna and radio at his house.

Future exercises also are planned.


Our Squadron held its traditional 5th Tuesday family night dinner on September 30.  Members and family enjoyed another nice meal at the Black Bear Dinner.


On Monday, 22-September, the High Desert Squadron participated with Deschutes County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) Search & Rescue (SAR) in searching for an ATV rider who did not return to his camp on Sunday. Happily, he was located at approximately 11:00 and found to be in reasonable good shape by a SAR ground team.

Our Aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Capt Campbell as Mission Observer and Capt Lang as Mission Scanner.

Lt Col Walker and 1st Lt Wolf, assisted by Maj Sander, served as Base for Operations and Maj Parker was the Mission Radio Operator.

We also received support from OWRG/PCR - Maj Rudawitz and Maj Ouellette (who served as CAP Incident Commander)

The alert was received at 03:30 and the participants were quick to scramble as this was a life threatening situation.

For its contribution, our squadron received a special commendation from the USAF Commander, Det 8 CAP-USAF/PLR.

Our Squadron was awarded a Save by AFRCC, which is the "Holy Grail" of Emergency Services and a huge honor.

Once again the Squadron came through and performed admirably.


On Sunday morning, September 21, nine Senior Members took to Highway 97 for our semi-annual cleanup effort.  Contributing their time, tools and efforts were Lt Col Walker, Maj Andre, Maj Parker, Capt Burns, Capt Campbell, Capt Lang, Capt Wissing, 2nd Lt Kennedy and 2nd Lt Massey.


On 13-September-2014, Oregon Wing held another a very successful Annual Conference. It was hosted by the newest Oregon Squadron which is based in Florence Oregon.

Our High Desert Squadron was well represented by both Senior Members and Cadets. The Seniors who attended were Lt Col Wakefield, Lt Col Walker, Capt Lang, Capt Wissing, 1st Lt Wolf and Maj Sandner for Wing as well as our Squadron. 

A terrific contingent of Cadets also attended which consisted of C/CMSgt Cuthbert, C/MSgt McCaa, C/SrA Wissing, C/A1C Huggin, C/A1C Neville, C/Amn Bennett and C/Amn Tena. Thanks go to Mrs. Cuthbert who coordinated their participation.

The opening session was primarily a State of the Wing / State of CAP overview and included presentations from Pacific Region Command Staff and National Headquarters. This was followed by very informative, parallel sessions covering a broad set of interests.

The Conference was culminated by a banquet for Members and invited guests which included the Deputy Director of Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) who spoke about the valued relationship of OEM with CAP.

Award presentations followed an excellent dinner, and, once again, Members of the High Desert Squadron were recognized.  C/CMSgt Cuthbert received the Cadet NCO of the Year Award, Capt Lang was recognized as the Wing’s Professional Development Officer, and 1st Lt Wolf received the ORWG IT Officer of the Year award.

Though now a member of ORWG staff, Maj Sandner still has a foot in our Squadron and we join in the celebration of his earning the CAP Level V (“Gil Robb Wilson”) award. This is the Civil Air Patrol’s highest award for senior member professional development.  It recognizes senior members who have dedicated themselves to leadership and personal development in the CAP.

Cap Lang and his wife deserve recognition as well for their efforts in procuring and serving the refreshments that were provided throughout the conference and the following morning.

Of course the dinner would not have been complete without some delicious cake, presented here by Mrs. Lang and Mrs. Sandner.
Everyone will be notified when the date and location for next year’s conference is set. You’ll want to mark your calendars and try to attend if able.


Congratulations to the following Cadets whose promotions were recognized at the 2-September All-Squadron meeting.

USAF Exercise - September 2

On 2-September, we were called upon to support another USAF exercise. We acted as Base, out of which Col Longley, our Wing Commander, served as Incident Commander supported by Maj Ouellette from the Pacific Region. Lt Col Walker and Capt Lang handled Base operations with Capt Coffman as Mission Radio Operator.

Our aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, 1st Lt Wolf as Mission Observer and Capt Campbell as Mission Scanner. We were the standby aircraft in case the other two flights encountered difficulty in launching, which they did not. Capt Campbell and 1st Lt Wolf then changed roles and became the Mobile relay unit which they accomplished successfully.

All elements of this exercise performed admirable.


Our High Desert Composite Squadron was asked again to provide support for the Airshow of the Cascades that was held in Madras, OR on August 22 and 23.  Our Cadets did a great job in providing crowd control and serving as ramp marshals. Our contingent consisted of C/Amn Allison, C/SrA Conklin, C/CMSgt Cuthbert, C/A1C Harvey, C/Amn Holmes, C/MSgt McCaa, C/A1C Neville and CADET Strain. And thank you to Capt Conklin, our Deputy Commander for Cadets, for coordinating all their efforts.

Maj Andre, Capt Wissing, Capt Campbell and 2nd Lt Kennedy also attended as did Mrs Cuthbert.

One of the highlights was the recognition given to Capt Wissing and our Squadron by Jacguie Warda who we "found" in Eastern Oregon after her aircraft went down.  We directed AirLink (thank you Capt Conklin) to the site where she was rescued. Ms Warda, who performed aerobatics at the airshow, had nice things to say about the life-saving Search and Rescue role that CAP plays in America.

Well done to all who contributed. And, congratulations on being invited back again next year!


Our squadron participated in the USAF evaluation of the Oregon Wing which involved all Emergency Service Squadrons. We did photo missions on 20-Aug and 21-Aug and conducted a successful electronic search on 23-Aug. Our efforts contributed significantly to the "Highly Successful" rating our Wing earned from the USAF.

Our staffing on 20-Aug consisted of:

Aircrew: Capt Brewster as Mission Pilot (MP), Lt Col Walker as Mission Observer (MO) and Capt Campbell as Mission Scanner( MS) and Airborne Photographer (AP). 

Mobile: Maj Parker

Base: Maj Sandner and Capt Lang

On 21-Aug our crews were:

Aircrew: Capt Brewster as MP, Capt Campbell as MO and Capt Lang as MS and AP

Mobile: Maj Parker

Base: Lt Col Potter, Lt Col Walker, Maj Sandner and Capt Wissing

On 23-Aug are participants were:

Aircrew 1: Capt Wissing as MP, Maj Andre as MO, and 2nd Lt Kennedy as MS

Aircrew 2: Capt Brewster as MP, Capt Campbell as MO and Capt Lang as MS

Mission Radio Operator: Capt Coffman

Base: Lt Col Walker, 1st Lt Wolf

Well done, gentlemen! And thank you for all the time and effort you contributed.

PS: This provided to be a very challenging week as we also actively participated in the Airshow of the Cascades in Madras on 22-23-Aug. Several Senior Members were involved with both.

From KTVZ  Bend, OR -

"Oregon Civil Air Patrol to hold statewide exercises
Incident command centers in Bend, Medford, Aurora
By KTVZ.COM news sources
POSTED: 1:44 PM PDT August 21, 2014 UPDATED: 1:48 PM PDT August 21, 2014 Oregon Civil Air Patrol

Oregon Civil Air Patrol uses fleet of specially equipped Cessna C-182 aicraft

SALEM, Ore. -

The Oregon wing of the Civil Air Patrol says it will be conducting a statewide US Air Force-evaluated exercise this weekend with a set of scenarios to train for and test its capability and preparedness to respond to various emergency situations.

With incident command centers located in Medford, Bend and Aurora, the CAP will conduct responses to both natural disasters, air search and rescue, and related operations that could be requested by state, local and federal authorities.

Six aircraft and up to 100 members from around the state will comprise ground and air crew personnel to conduct various emergency flight and ground operations.

These operations could be communications support to local authorities, search operations to locate missing persons or aircraft, high resolution digital photo reconnaisance, emergency medical support flights and transporting of critical supplies, equipment and personnel among other possible responses.

In addition to adult aircrew and ground staff, the CAP will utilize its teenaged cadet members in various ground support operations such as communications, mission base operations, ground search and rescue operations and aircraft flight-line activities under the guidance of an experienced adult member.

"Our cadet members are a crucial force multiplier during our missions" said Major Rich Ouellette, CAO Incident Commander. " They perform essential tasks that have a tremendous impact on the success of our multitude of operational missions"

"The training we conduct during these evaluated tests and more routine training operations during the year are important to keep our skills current, apply new technology and procedures and to train our newer members who are interested in serving their communities and their country in time of emergency," he said.

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 over 25,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs.

CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 68 years. For more information on CAP, please visit

  • Copyright 2014 KTVZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed"


From Ch.12 ABC 
Medford, OR

Civil Air Patrol Preps for Disasters

by Randa Gore

Published August 23, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore. — If you see more planes flying overhead, it might be because the Oregon Civil Air Patrol is conducting a state-wide exercise this weekend.

The Oregon CAP is a non-profit organization that specializes in search and rescue missions, cadet programs, and aerospace education.  On Saturday, members were practicing for real life disasters by using simulated missions conducted by the air force.

Those included scenarios focusing on natural disasters, and lost airplanes, and search and rescue.

“When you go out and find a four or five-year-old child that is lost in the wilderness, and if I start crying excuse me… because I’ve done this in the past, but when you bring them out alive, that is the best feeling in the world, that is why we do this,” said Lt. Col. Larry Kendrick with the CAP.

Trainings like the one on Saturday are held at least once a year.


The following message was sent on ORWG notices by Lt Col Rosenberg:

"Mission 14M0368A was opened on July 30 and closed on July 31 to assist the Lake County Sheriff in location a missing youth. The youth was found by a Sheriff's ground team. As well as doing an Air Search we also helped the Sheriff by acting as a communication relay for some of their teams.

Thank you to all that participated in the mission.

LtC Kendrick

Maj Parker

Maj Sandner

Capt Brewster

Capt Lang

Capt Silsby

Capt Muller

Capt Belcam

1Lt Wolf"

On extremely short notice (at 23:50 on 30-Jul), our squadron responded extraordinarily well by assembling at team at KBDN for 0530 on 31-Jul to execute this mission.

The air crew consisted of Capt Brewster as Mission Pilot and Capt Lang as Mission Observer. The Mobile relay team was made up of Maj Parker and Maj Sandner.  Base, including radio operations, was handle by 1st Lt Wolf. Capt Wissing. Capt Campbell and 2nd Lt Massey also assisted at Base.

This effort involved the Lake County Sheriff's Office (which physically located the individual), a relief flight by the Medford Squadron and AirLink. Our aircrew identified several possible "targets of interest" and provided air relay between the Sheriff's Command Post and their SAR teams on the ground.

Thank you for all those who could respond on such short notice.  Well done! 

SAREX  19-July-2014

At 0700 hours Saturday July 19, several High Desert Squadron members arrived at Bend Airport to set up Mission Base and participate in a Wing-wide SAREX. Purpose of this mission was to prepare for the upcoming “Air Force observed” mission readiness exercise on August 22 & 23. (mark your calendars). 

Mission Pilot Capt Brewster along with Lt Col Walker and Lt Kennedy made up the aircrew.

Captain’s Wissing, Lang, Campbell, Coffman and Maj Parker & Lt Massey provided Mission base support.

Due to approaching IMC conditions (poor weather/visibility), the mission parameters had to be modified to maintain a safe flight environment.

One successful sortie was flown searching for a distressed watercraft around Paulina Lake area. The flight also provided a significant platform for maintaining aircrew proficiency and validation.

Well done, Gentlemen !


Oregon Wing announced the following appointments to the Wing Command Staff on July 2, 2014:

Director of Finance                                           Maj Shoemaker

Director of Administration                                 Capt Gennrich  III

Personnel Officer                                             Lt Col Howell Jr

Director of Operations                                      Maj Sandner

Emergency Services Officer                              Lt Col Ayers

Counterdrug Officer                                         Lt Col Walker

Public Affairs Officer                                        Lt Col Traver

Congratulations to all, but especially to our own - Maj Sandner and Lt Col Walker !

We look forward to working with and supporting all these worthy leaders.

SAREX  21-June-2014

Our Squadron had an interesting photographic mission of 21-Jun-14. Responding to a requesting agency, we photographed four locations of interest.

Our aircrew consisted on Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot (MP), Lt Col Wakefield as Mission Observer (MO) amd 2nd Lt Kennedy as Mission Scanner (MS) / Airborne Photographer (AP).

Staffing the Mobile Communications unit were Maj Parker and 2nd Lt Massey.

Base Operations were led by Lt Col Walker with 1st Lt Wolf serving as Mission Radio Operator.

Also supporting this exercise were Lt Col Parker and Capt Campbell.

The post flight photographic processing was performed by Lts Kennedy, Massey and Wolf.

Thank you, Members, for yet another accomplishment.

Our New Mission Pilot- Capt Scott Brewster 

Congratulations, Capt Brewster on becoming a CAP Mission Pilot! Quite an accomplishment even for an experienced commercial ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) like yourself.

Thank you for your commitment.  Looking forward to all you can/will do for the High Desert Composite Squadron!

JUNE 14-15, 2014 - SCHOOL DAYS

Our High Desert Composite Squadron was privileged to plan, host and provide instruction at the Squadron Leadership School (SLS) and Corporate Leadership Course (CLC) classes that were held in Bend on June 14th and 15th.

Members from across the State came to attend these two, full-day classes to expand their knowledge of CAP and learn how to become more effective leaders.

Nine Senior Members participated in and graduated from the SLS class. They were:

2nd Lt Beckman, Metropolitan Senior

Capt Campbell, High Desert Composite

1st Lt Hoene, Salem Composite

SM Hopwood, Mahlon Sweet Composite

2nd Lt Ivan, Columbia Composite

2nd Lt Kennedy, High Desert Composite

SM Muller, Medford Composite

2nd Lt Slusser, Grants Pass Composite

2nd Lt tenKate, Washington County Composite

1st Lt Young, Salem Composite

The CLC Course graduated the following five Members:

Capt Chow, Columbia Composite

SM Dukes, McMinnville Composite

Capt Naas, Washington Composite

Lt Col Wakefield, High Desert Composite

1st Lt Wolf, High Desert Composite

The quality of the classes was outstanding thanks to the great instruction provided by very experienced and knowledgeable instructors from Wing and the Aurora and High Desert Squadrons.

The “Faculty” consisted of:

Our Wing Commander, Col Longley

Wing Vice Commander, Lt Col Tenory

Wing Dir of Aerospace Education, Maj Pereyo

Wing Dir of Cadet Programs, Maj Ray

Wing Dir of Operations, Maj Sandner

Aurora Composite Squadron Prof Dev Officer, Lt Col Richards

High Desert Composite Squadron Commander, Capt Wissing

High Desert Composite Squadron Prof Dev Officer, Capt Lang

High Desert Composite Squadron Auxiliary, Mrs. Cuthbert

It’s also important to note the excellent, behind-the-scenes support provided by Mrs Lang and C/SMSt Cuthbert

Congratulations, graduates.  And thank you very much to everyone who contributed to the success of these classes !

Congratulations to 2nd Lt Kennedy

SM Kennedy was promoted to Second Lieutenant In June.  Here is a picture of Squadron Commander Capt Wissing congratulating Lt Kennedy while being assisted by Maj Andre and Maj Sandner.

Congratulations !

GRUMBY - June 13-15, 2014

We were honored to support our local EAA Chapter ("High Desert Flyers") when they brought a B-25 ("Grumpy") to Bend for rides and tours. Our cadets (supported by some Senior Members) provided overnight security for the airplane.  Thank you, Cadets!


Oregon Wing Commander Col Longley said; “Thank you for your excellent work. Everything was highly organized.  There was good participation.  The food was the best ever.  The presentation by Dr. Amy L. Hoover, the Chairman of the Department of Aviation at Central Washington University was outstanding”.


The Colonel was talking about the recent Mountain Flying Clinic hosted by the High Desert Squadron on May 31, 2014. The were 25 attendees to the Clinic which included a fleet of 6 Civil Air Patrol Aircraft. This was an awesome day and exciting event to participate in. Several Cadets assisted with marshalling aircraft, greeting, & base support. They performed in an exemplary manner... We are honored to host this event for Oregon Civil Air Patrol. The event was organized by Major Sandner, Lt. Col Walker, Captains Wissing  & Lang. 

Well done, Gentlemen !!!


On 29-May-2014, we were called upon to support another USAF exercise.

The flight crew for our aircraft consisted of Commander (Capt) Wissing as Mission Pilot (MP) and (now) 2nd Lt Kennedy as Mission Observer (MO) in training. In addition, Capt Brewster flew as MO with Maj Ouellette as MP in the glass cockpit "High Bird".

Col Walker lead Mission Base with support from Capt Campbell, Capt Lang and C/SMSgt Cuthbert.

As usual, we performed flawlessly. We were delighted to receive a call afterwards thanking us for our support of USAF training.

Well done, Members !


Continuing with a VERY busy May, we participated in a joint exercise with USAF aircraft on Wednesday, 21-May.

The flight crew consisted on Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot (MP), Lt Wolf as Mission Observer (MO) and Lt Crandall as Mission Scanner (MS).

Our Mobile team was comprised of Maj Ouellette, who flew in the night before, and Maj Parker.

Base was manned by Col Walker and Maj Sandner

Once again we performed our role flawlessly.  Well done, Members!


Following the Search SAREX on Saturday, the Squadron also performed (admirably) the following day, 18-May, when we conducted a joint exercise with Deschutes County Search and Rescue (DCSAR).

The objective was to locate an ELT test beacon and direct ground teams to its location.

Our Ground team consisting of Maj Parker and Lt Kennedy joined three ground teams from DCSAR who all launched from different locations and used their Direction Finding (DF) units (L-Pers) to try to pick up the beason's signal and then triangulate to find its location.  After about an hour, the teams all had picked up the signal and were refining their bearing estimates when we launched our aircraft.

Within minutes of being airborne, our Aircrew of Capt Brewster as Mission Pilot, Capt Wissing as Mission Observer and Maj Taylor as Mission Scanner picked up the beacon and within 15 minutes had visually located it and recorded/transmitted the GPS coordinates. Once again the value of an airborne asset was demonstrated.

Our Base staff consisted on Col Walker, Maj Sandner and Lt Wolf. We set up in the DCSAR command center and interacted directly with DCSAR command staff who coordinated and led this exercise. 

Following the identification of the site our portion of the exercise was completed. DCSAR continued by converging their teams to the site and practicing a medical evacuation which also involve an AirLink helicopter.

This was a terrific opportunity for joint training to develop coordination skills between Agencies. All parties performed well even though their were a few lessons learned on how to improve next time.

Well done, Team !


May 17, 2014, High Desert Squadron participated in another SAREX with the focus being on Search techniques, both visual and electronic.

The Incident Command Post (ICP) was located at Aurora with staging bases in Bend and Medford. Mission base staff in Bend opened the base operation at 0700 hours at the airport (KBDN). Targets and Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) beacon were strategically positioned for this exercise. 

Our aircrew consisting of Capt Wissing, Capt Brewster & Lt Kennedy was dispatched to locate the target. A ground crew team consisting of Maj Parker, Maj Taylor & C/SMSgt Cuthbert provided ground support and assisted in successfully locating the target.

Base support was provided by Col Walker, Maj Sandner & Capt Lang.  Also, thank you to Col Longley (our Wing Commander) and Col Bishop (our Region Commander) who flew in to assist with base operations.

Cadet Promotions - May 6

Promotions for Cadets Allison, Cuthbert, Homes, McCaa, Neelon and N. Wissing were recognized at the All-Squadron meeting held on May 6, 2014. See Cadets page for photos and details.

Visit to Air National Guard

On Saturday, May 3rd, seven members of our squadron were honored to be included in a tour of the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard based at the Portland airport. Our hosts (the "Redhawks") wanted to show appreciation for our support of many of their training exercises

Our participants (who had participated in at least ten of these exercises) were Maj Andre, Maj Parker, Maj Sandner, Capt Wissing, Capt Lang, Lt Wolf and Cadet N. Wissing.

The tour included an extensive briefing with Q&A, exciting video of a F-15 Eagle training "fight", demonstration and explanation of everything a pilot uses including helmet, flight suit, pressure suit, survival equipment, etc. and the opportunity to watch (alongside the runway) 12 fighter aircraft taking off for a practice exercise. For the finale there was an up close and personal view and description of these magnificent aircraft.

It was extremely informative, entertaining and appreciated. 

Our thanks go out to all those who serve in the 142nd !


Recognition takes on two meanings in this case.

First, we'd like all to know that our CAP vehicle can now be accurately identified from the air by virtue of the numbers 823 on the roof. Previously our SUV looked pretty much like any other white SUV on the road.

For those who are not familiar with the call sign for the radio our mobile unit in the truck, it is BF 823 (Beaver Fox 8 2 3) hence the number on the vehicle.

Second, recognition goes to Maj Andre for obtaining and applying the numbers to our rig.  Thank you, Sir !

USAF Exercise 30-April

Continuing a string of weekly exercises, our Squadron was again selected to play the key role in this activitiy, supported by a "high bird" communications relay aircraft from the Hillsboro Squadron.

The aircrew consisted of Cap Brewster are Mission Pilot, Capt Wissing as Mission Observer and Lt Crandall as Mission Scanner. 

Maj Parker and Lt Wolf acted as the ground team providing mobile communications support from our SUV.

And, Maj Sandner and Capt Lang comprised the Base Staff, holding it all together.

All CAP  players executed flawlessly, demonstrating excellent coordination and communications proficiency.

Regrettably, our planned partner in the exercise was not able to participate.

Maj Ouellette flew in from Eugene to observe; he undoubtedly left with a very favorable opinion of our performance. 

FAMILY NIGHT DINNER - Tuesday, April 29

Commander Wissing cordially invites all High Desert Squadron members & families to the “5th Tuesday” Squadron no host dinner/get together social at Jake's Diner.

Start time 1800 and the dress is casual.

For those who, regrettably, have not eaten there before, Jake's is located at 2210 NE Hwy 20 (set back from the NW Corner of Greenwood and Purcell)

USAF Exercise  20-April

Unfortunately, this exercise had to be scrubbed after launch due to weather.

Still, there were some great learnings for the Base Staff, the Ground Team and the Incident Commander.

N9883E was crewed by Capt Brewster as Mission Pilot, Capt Wissing as Mission Observer and Lt Crandall as Mission Scanner. Conditions deteriorated after launch and they needed to return to base.

The Ground Team consisted of Lt Wolf as Driver and Maj Taylor as Navigator. They positioned themselves on Pine Mountain but had to return when the exercise was canceled. Had the exercise continued, they would have acted as the Communications Relay as the "high bird" from the Valley was unable to launch, again because of weather.

The Base Staff was comprised of Col Walker, Maj Sandner, Capt Lang and Cadet Nathan Wissing.

The unique aspect of this exercise is that the Incident Commander, Maj Ouellette, operated out of Eugene using GoToMeeting for the first time to link directly to the Base Staff in Bend.


One of our most comprehensive and complex SAREXs was conducted on Saturday 19-April.

The focus was on locating a simulated down aircraft and directing ground teams to its location. Two sorties were planned for Air-to-Ground communications both with and without radio contact between our search aircraft and several ground teams.

Making this exercise even more challenging and worthwhile was that ground teams from Deschutes County Search and Rescue (SAR) played active roles in both exercises.

The first sortie was highly successful with our aircraft finding the location of the simulated downed aircraft and then directing the CAP and SAR ground teams to a target at Pine Mountain using air to ground visual signals.

On the second sortie our aircraft could not be used due to high winds in the afternoon but the SAR Teams (two vehicles) and CAP Ground Team located the practice beacon just east of Sunriver using direction finding equipment.

The scenarios were actually more complex and ambiguous than reflected in the above description and proved to be as close to real world searches as could be planned. Kudos to Col Walker and the planning team for constructing the detailed and ambitious plans which involved more than 60 hours of planning.

Our Aircrew in the morning was comprised of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Maj as Mission Observer and SM Kennedy as Mission Scanner.


Capt Brewster as Driver and Capt Burns as Navigator were our Ground Team in the morning, and Maj Andre and Capt Burns were the Ground Team in the afternoon.

SAR had two vehicles and 4-5 members that were very active participants and contributors to the success of the exercises.

The Base Staff consisted of Col Walker as Incident Commander, Maj Sandner as Air Operations and Ground Operation Branch Manager and Capt Lang as Mission Radio Operator, IMU operator and Safety Officer.

And the Members in the middle of everything were Maj Sandner, Capt Coffman and Capt Lang who were responsible for setting up, manning and taking down the targets.

It’s also important to note that some of our Cadets were challenged as well. The Cadets took turns as Incident Command Center guards which they did it with friendliness and enthusiasm. They also got to monitor and record all aircraft movements on the airport.

Everyone should be commended for their contributions to these successful efforts. They provided many useful learning experiences including how we and SAR could function effectively as a joint team if the need arises.


Beginning April 1, 2014, Squadron meetings will be held at the AirLink facility at the Bend Airport (KBDN). The address is  63144 Powell Butte Highway, Bend, OR 97701.

Meetings will begin at our usual time of 1900.

If you have any questions, please contact Capt Wissing or Capt Conklin.

Another Effective USAF Exercise - April 18

Once again we performed admirably on a USAF exercise, this one the most comprehensive to date with two separate USAF flights involved. The ANG General was a backseat Observer in one of their aircraft, making it even more noteworthy.

The aircrew was comprised of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Maj Andre as Mission Observer and Capt Witters from the Medford squadron as Mission Scanner.

The base staff consisted of Col Walker, Maj Sandner, Maj Parker, Capt Lang, Capt Campbell and Cadet Wissing.

No ground team was needed as a CAP aircraft from the Valley acted as the “high bird” communications relay.

SAREX Planning & IMU Training

A comprehensive and detailed planning session for the upcoming Air to Ground Communications SAREX was held on April 16, hosted by Lt Wolf.

The effort was lead by Col Walker, our Operations Officer. The other participants were Maj Sandner, Capt Wissing, Capt Lang, Lt Wolf and Cadet Wissing.

What made this particularly interesting and challenging is that it also involves a ground team from Deschutes County Search and Rescue (SAR) in addition to our ground team and includes two sorties, one with air to ground radio communications and one without.

An online IMU (Incident Management Utility) training session followed the planning meeting. This was lead by Col Walker, supported by Maj Sandner and attended by Lt Wolf. Everyone came aways with a better understanding of how to use this essential incident planning & tracking tool.

Successful USAF Exercise

On April 9 we completed another successful USAF exercise.

Our aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Capt Lang as Mission Observer and Capt Brewster as Mission Scanner.

Base Staff was comprised of Col Walker and Maj Sandner.

Absent a "High Bird" for communications relay, we positioned our SUV on Pine Mountain to provide a communications link between our aircraft and base operations. This was staffed by Maj Parker, Capt Campbell and Cadet Nathan Wissing.

Maj Ouellette flew in from the Valley to observe and support this exercise which was conducted flawlessly.

Joint Exercise w/ DCSAR

On Monday, April 7, we participated in a joint exercise with a Deschutes County Search and Rescue (DCSAR) ground team at their invitation. The objective was to locate an ELT training beacon that one of their members had positioned 20 miles east of Bend in the Badlands. DCSAR had five participants who were joined by Maj Andre, Maj Park, Maj Sandner and Lt Wolf.

It was an great opportunity to build on the relationship and to get some training in the use of their Little L-Per Direction Finding units that are newer than the ones we currently use. Everyone agreed it was an excellent learning experience.

We look forward to conducting future exercises with DCSAR, especially where we provide the aerial component in a joint search.

Congratulations to Capt Cardin ! 

Capt Cardin successfully completed her initial Form 5 checkride on April 5.  She is progressing quickly tpward becoming a Mission Pilot (MP) for our Squadron.

Well Done, Capt Cardin!

Congratulations to Capt Brewster !

Congratulations to Capt Brewster for passing his Form 5 checkride. He now is qualified as a Transport Mission Pilot and also can now give Observation rides (O-rides) to our Cadets.

It won't be long now til Capt Brewster earns his certification as a Mission Pilot (MP) and likely become a check ride pilot as well.

We Did it Again !

Once again, our squadron performed in an excellent manner on March 22 as a key participant in a statewide CAP communications exercise (that also involved Washington CAP).

The objective was to test all elements of CAP's communications capabilities as might be required in the event of a State or region wide disaster, e.g., a Cascadia subduction zone catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

CAP aircraft from across the State participated in both primary and “high bird” relay roles. In addition, ground mobile communications units, including our own, and base stations throughout OR and Southern WA all were tested in their ability to pass messages from station to station and to relay messages to a central Command Center.

One new capability, HF/ALE*, was brought into the exercise to determine our capability to communicate long distances between ground stations without the use of repeaters and/or aircraft. This was a complete success as we had clear communications direct to Aurora as well as to a HF/ALE station in WA.

Our aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Lt Crandall as Mission Observer, and Capt Dike from Klamath Falls Squadron as Mission Scanner. They tested communications in North Central OR up around the Columbia Gorge.

Maj Andre and Maj Parker constituted our Ground Team that stationed our SUV atop a butte near Shaniko and provided a relay function.

Our Base location was at the Redmond Airport which probably will be our location in the event of a major disaster since the Airport would be the hub on this side of the Cascades for all National disaster relief efforts. The efforts there were planned and coordinated by Col Walker and Maj Sandner who also had the lead, supported by Maj Parker and Capt Lang, for the HF/ALE radio setup and operation.

Cadet Wissing (primarily) and Lt Wolf handled the Mission Radio Operator role though others at Base also had the opportunity to contribute.  The other Base participants were Capt Brewster, Capt Bill Conklin, SM Kennedy and Lt Col Walker.

Special recognition must go to Maj (“Sparky”) Sandner and Maj Parker who did a great job in setting up the long ALE antenna and equipment on Friday and then successfully operating it on Saturday. Maj Sandner also deserves recognition for clearing/arranging everything with the Redmond Airport Manager and, with Capt Lang, securing the facilities at Butler Aviation Services which became our Base location.

While some lessons were learned where improvements can be made, the overall CAP operation was a resounding success. It is comforting to know that CAP could be a major asset in the event of a Regional disaster.

* “High Frequency Automatic Link Establishment (HF/ALE) is the next generation of HF radio technology being implemented throughout the Civil Air Patrol communications system. In the HF/ALE environment, each radio operates automatically across a suite of frequencies. This differs from conventional HF in which a “net” is a gathering of stations, usually on a single frequency at a specific time. In the ALE methodology a “net” is a group of radios continuously scanning a common suite of frequencies.

CAP’s 21st Century HF/ALE system will not use traditional scheduled voice nets for operational missions. Rather, it will be composed of a system of decentralized point-to-point, peer-to-peer stations strategically located to provide connectivity required for tactical and command and control communications. The system will be organized into a National Command Net and eight Region Command Nets.”


We completed another successful USAF exercise on March 19.  Our Squadron supported the Mission Base which included some excellent work and training on the IMU (Incident Management Utilities) and CAP radio.

Our aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Capt Witters (Medford Squadron) acted as Mission Observer and Capt. Brewster was the Mission Scanner.

Base Staff included Capt Lang, Capt Cardin, Maj Sandner, Capt Campbell, Col Walker and Cadets Cuthbert and Wissing.

Our SUV was deplored as back-up Communications Relay with Maj. Andre and Maj. Parker positioning the vehicle on Pine Mountain. This was required when the High Bird aircraft was diverted to perform the intended role of our aircraft which, unfortunately, had mechanical issues and could not launch. However, because good spur of the moment decisions on the part of the Base Staff, the mission was completed successfully in spite of the unexpected aircraft problem.

The OR ANG (Air National Guard) Commander was flying one of the USAF aircraft and expressed his complete satisfaction with the way CAP conducted our part of the exercise.


On March 13, we were alerted to participate in a real, night ELT search in the La Grande area. Our role was to function as the communications relay aircraft (“high bird”) for a CAP flight out of Washington that was to search for an active ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter).

Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot and Capt Campbell as Mission Observer responded immediately supported by Maj Parker and Maj Sandner at Bend Base. They successfully performed their roles which involved 3.5 hours in the air for the flight crew. Maj Sandner then followed up with the FBO in La Grande to turn off the ELT in the morning.

This had a positive ending as it turned out not to be a real emergency, ie a downed aircraft. The ELT was located in a aircraft hangered in La Grande where it had been inadvertently set off while a battery was being changed. The responsible party was thankful though very embarrassed. He said he “owes one” to CAP if we are ever in need in his area.

Congratulations, gentlemen, on another job well done!

March 12 Exercise

We completed another successful USAF exercise on March 12.  Maj Oullette, ORWG Chief of Staff, flew in for the activity and supported Mission Base, including some excellent training  how we can best use the IMU (Incident Management Utilities)

The aircrew consisted of Capt Wissing as Mission Pilot, Capt Campbell who was the Mission Observer and Maj Taylor who served as Mission Scanner. Mission Base was led by Maj Sandner, supported by Maj Parker, Capt Lang and Lt Wolf and observed by Maj Ouellette.

Once again, useful learning experiences were gained by everyone involved.

USAF Liaison

Our new USAF Liaison, Maj Kyle French, joined us at our Squadron meeting on March 4, 2014.

Maj French (right) is shown here with our Squadron Commander, Capt Wissing.


CAP High Desert Squadron is the 2nd Place Awardee for the State of Oregon in the 2014 CyberPatriot* State Competition.

Congratulations for this hard earned award to C/SrA McCaa,  C/A1C Cuthbert, Cadet Grant, C/SrA Conklin and C/MSgt Cuthbert.

And a special thank you to Mrs. Cuthbert, Coach, and Mr. Cuthbert, Mentor, for their guidance and support.

*From the CyperPatriot website ( ) "Cyper Patriot is the premier national high school cyber defense competition that is designed to give hands-on exposure to the foundations of cybersecurity. It was created by the Air Force Association to excite high school students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education."  Go the CyperPatriot website if you would like to learn more.

March Promotions


Congratulations to Captain Brewster who earned his promotion in record time. Shown here receiving his Captain epaulets from Commander Wissing and Major Sandner


Congratulations to the following Cadets for their well earned promotions. We're proud of you !!!

C/MSgt Cuthbert

C/SrA Conklin

C/A1C Cuthbert

                      C/A1C Huggin

C/A1C Wissing

C/Amn Tena

Aerial Photography

ORWG provided a comprehensive Webinar on March 1 addressing Aerial Photography.  In light of increased demand by multiple Agencies, it is expected CAP activity in this area will increase significantly.

Capt Lang graciously hosted our Squadron's participation at his home.  The participants were Major Parker, Maj Sandner, Capt Burns, Capt Conklin, Capt Lang, Capt Wissing, Lt Massey, Lt Wolf, SM Kennedy and C/SrA S. Conklin

CAP Comes Through Again

For the second time within a month, CAP delivered!

While Maj Sandner was at the airport cleaning our airplane on Sunday, February 23, a County Sheriff’s rig pulled up and said “We have an ELT going off and we think it is here on the airport”.  He wasn't quite sure what to do, so Maj Sandner introduced myself and asked if he could provide some help. The Deputy gladly accepted the offer.

They then used the Deputy’s equipment to narrow down the search. It took quite some time but they did get it pinpointed to a single hangar.


Gary Judd, the airport manager, was notified, and he called the owner who came out and shut it off a couple of hours after Maj Sandner and the Deputy left.  Judd was impressed that they had it narrowed down to a single hangar in the long line of connected hangars and it turned out to be the right one.


It seemed that the young deputy was impressed with what his equipment could do.  He learned a few operational tricks in the process thanks to Maj Sandner.


Well done, Major! You helped solved a problem and got a little real time training out of it.