Squadron 302 contributes to “OUTSTANDING” rating

When the United States Air Force inspectors come to town, you’d better be sure to put your best foot forward. That’s exactly what members of Squadron 302 did while working along side their fellow CAP members from throughout the state during the November evaluated operations exercise. Squadron members contributed to the Arizona Wing earning the coveted “Outstanding” evaluation, the highest evaluation level possible.

Squadron 302 members contributed in areas of communications, ground teams, air crews, mission management, and information technology. C/CMSgt Clarissa Hand earned special recognition from the evaluation team for her work as a Mission Radio Operator during the exercise.

The purpose of the evaluated exercises is to demonstrate to the Air Force that the Arizona Wing conducts its search missions in a safe, cost-effective, and efficient manner consistent with the expectations and requirements of the Air Force. A “Successful” rating would have indicating the wing was doing everything expected by the Air Force, the “Outstanding” rating means Arizona Wing is going above and beyond what the Air Force expects from its civilian auxiliary, demonstrating concepts and technology that set a new standard for exceptional mission execution.

Squadron Prepares For Wing-Wide USAF Evaluated Exercise

C/SMSgt Clarissa Hand (front) works the radios in the communications room with C/1st Lt Jessica parsons from Squadron 388.

C/SMSgt Clarissa Hand (front) works the radios in the communications room with C/1st Lt Jessica Parsons from Squadron 388.

Members of Squadron 302 are preparing for an upcoming exercise that will be evaluated by personnel of CAP-USAF, the Air Force unit that is responsible for the oversight of the Civil Air

As a wing-wide exercise, squadron 302 personnel are
participating as aircrew members, communications unit leaders, mission radio operators, and ground team leaders and members. Squadron 302 is proud to play a part in the demonstration of the Arizona Wing’s readiness and professionalism to the Air Force.

New SET approval process

As you may have read on eServices recently, CAP has established a new Skills Evaluator approval process supporting CAPR 60-3, section 2.2.a.1 covering Operational Specialty Ratings/Performance Standards. SQTR Task and Achievement sign offs must now be done by approved Skills Evaluators in that achievement area.

Effective immediately, SQ302 will handle approvals for Skills Evaluators up thru the respective functional areas of ES, Ops and Communications. For example, if you desire to be approved as a Skills Evaluator for a ES related tasks or achievement in SQ 302, please contact your SQ302 ESO/AESOs to request Skills Evaluator endorsement in achievements which you feel you are qualified and possess a high degree of proficiency. Example ES achievements will include MS, MO, AP, MB staff, etc.. Skill Evaluators for ground team achievements will continue to be handled by the current process within that functional area. Endorsement by your SQ302 ES staff is a major factor in considering approval for you as an ES Skills Evaluator for any given ES achievement in SQ302.

Ops related (i.e. for pilot achievements, flight line, etc.) and Comm related achievements will be handled in a similar manner via the SQ302 Ops and Comm officers unless otherwise specified by AZWG.

AZ Wing Color Guard Opens State Legislative Session

By Maj Jim Nova

From left to right, cadets Thomas, Olcott, Deinzer, and Riethmann. Click to see the full size photo.

From left to right, cadets Thomas, Olcott, Deinzer, and Riethmann. Click to see the full size photo.

The Arizona Wing of the Civil Air Patrol Color Guard presented the colors at the  opening of the April 4th,  2012 session of the Arizona House of Representatives at the state Capitol at 1700 W. Washington in Phoenix, Arizona.

In addition to the presentation of the colors, Arizona Wing Commander Col Brian Ready led the House of Representative members in the Pledge of Allegiance. Lt Col Steve Rountree, Chaplain Emeritus, gave the opening prayer. 2Lt Kevin Deinzer, Deputy Cadet Commander of the Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302 assisted with event coordination.

Members of the Arizona Wing Color Guard are listed below:

  • Courtney Deinzer C/TSgt
  • Ryan Rauch C/MSgt
  • Shauri Thomas C/MSgt
  • Bradley Riethmann C/MSgt
  • Klara Olcott C/SrA
  • Joy Olcott SM

AZ Wing Honors WWII Veteran

Phoenix, Ariz—A local WWII veteran was thrilled tonight when members of the Arizona Wing Color Guard, comprised of cadets ages 13-16, Arizona Wing representative Lt Col Frank Scherer, and 2nd Lt Kevin Deinzer, Deputy Cadet Commander of Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302, arranged a surprise presentation of an Honor Flight for local WWII veteran Arthur Herzberg. After he was told about his flight, which will take place May 22, 2012, Mr. Herzberg said, “I’m here tonight because of the real Heroes who are still over there”

Mr. Herzberg’s daughter, Nancy Herzberg Levine, helped the Civil Air Patrol members and the organization Honor Flight Arizona pull off the surprise. Mary Grandsen, board member and liaison from Honor Flight Arizona, had this to say after awarding the flight to Herzberg, “The mission of Honor Flight is to take all of our WWII veterans, at no cost to them, to see their memorial in Washington. It took 60 years after WWII ended to build this wonderful tribute to the greatest generation, the American heroes who saved the United States and the world. Our biggest concern is that these men and women are becoming older and passing away, and of course, with the economy our funding is down. We work totally on donations. It is my pleasure to honor these men and women in any way I can.”  Funds for Herzberg’s flight were donated by Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302 members and family, and an anonymous donor.

Herzberg’s wife, Florence Herzberg, daughter Nancy Levine and grandson David Levine also attended.  Members of the Arizona Wing Color Guard presenting the flight award were C/Master Sgt Reithman, CTech Sgt Deinzer, C/Master Sgt Rauch, C/Master Sgt Thomas, and Cadet Senior Airman Olcott.

Phoenix area TV stations aired stories about this presentation. Links to this coverage are listed below.

2011 – A Review

As 2011 comes to a close I have had a chance to reflect on my time in CAP. Volunteerism isn’t a new thing for me. Since I was 18, as a paramedic for a local volunteer ambulance group, I have always felt a calling to be a part of something bigger. Through all of the different organizations I have grown and learned so much.

But then I have also learned much from those around me now. To give a few examples from our Cadet staff, Lt Karnes, has taught me that persistence and perseverance is important to him and can create good things. Lt Shortridge, has taught me that being an “individual” with different ideas and different mindset is important to her and can help shape our future leaders of cadets. Lt Babcock, has taught me that he has learned and been shaped by global experience and friendships are important wherever they may be! Yes, I have learned a lot in my short tenure.

As a Squadron we have come a long way. When I started in early 2010 we had only 40 something cadets and only 6 or so Senior Members on the cadet side…even the turnout at the Senior Meeting nights was sparse. NOW, we are at 97 cadets and 61 senior members, as recent as this past Wednesday, we had 27 members at Senior Members meeting! The largest gathering since I have been involved.

It’s been a great year for the Squadron too! We have won numerous Color Guard awards, the Squadron of Merit, Quality Cadet Unit Award and many other recognitions. I am certain that our current staff, too numerous to mention, will continue to carry us in the next year with as many successes! As we reflect on our past year, thank whoever it is we pray to, let’s us be mindful of our blessings and for all we have… Friends, family, service and faith. For those of you that were at encampment this year, Foxtrot had a 3 word motto…. Faith, Focus, Finish. Enjoy the holiday…… Peace to you and your family.

Sincerely yours,

1st Lt Paul Cassano
Squadron Commander

1st Lt Paul Cassano Assumes Command of Squadron 302 During Open House


Paul Cassano was called to the front of the gathering of cadets, senior members, distinguished guests, and fellow wing members twice during the squadron’s open house. The first time was to accept command of the 132 member squadron, relieving outgoing squadron commander Major Les Manser who has moved to Wing Headquarters. The second time was when Colonel John Eggen, Wing Commander for Arizona announced Lieutenant Cassano was out of uniform and then proceeded to promote Cassano from Second Lieutenant to First Lieutenant.

The open house featured a number of short presentations, including Major Tim Beckwith recalling the highlights of his fifty-plus years in CAP, brief overviews of the squadron’s execution of CAP’s primary missions of emergency services, aerospace education, and cadet programs.


Deer Valley Squadron Earns “Quality Cadet Unit Award”

Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302 was named a recipient of the “Quality Cadet Unit Award” by the Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. The purpose of the award to recognize units that operate fundamentally strong cadet programs. The Deer Valley squadron was the only squadron in Arizona to earn the award and one of only fourteen squadrons in the Southwest Region to be recognized.

“We’re obviously tremendously proud of our cadets and program,” said 2d Lt Paul Cassano, the squadron’s Deputy Commander for Cadets. “Our cadets and senior members work very hard to make 302 an outstanding success and to receive recognition from National Headquarters for our efforts is of course very satisfying.”


Not that Squadron 302 will be resting on their laurels. “We have even bigger plans for 2011,” Lt Cassano explained. “We just awarded six cadets the Wright Brothers award a couple of weeks ago, we’re planning on sending a large contingent of cadet basics and staff to encampment again this year, and our aerospace activities are keeping everybody very busy,” Lt Cassano said.

To earn the award, the squadron had to meet five out of eight criteria that measures aspects a unit’s commitment to growth and retention, such as having at least 40% of the cadets receive an orientation flight, encampment participation, number of cadet officers promoted, and retaining at least 40% of new cadets in the following year.

Squadron Commander Maj Les Manser is pleased with success of the unit’s cadet program. “Lt Cassano and his team of senior members do a fantastic job working with our cadets to ensure the program is always moving forward, always striving to be better,” Maj Manser said. According to the Major, stressing proper planning in addition to using metrics to evaluate results has created an environment of constant improvement. “I’m confident that Lt Cassano and his team will continue to find opportunities to encourage our talented cadets to shine,” Maj Manser said.

The Deer Valley Composite Squadron cadets meet at the Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix every Monday night from 1900 until 2130. For more information about the squadron, contact the recruiting and retention officer.

Squadron 302 Cadets Bring Home The Hardware


The only squadron to send two color guard teams to the Arizona Wing Color Guard Competition also saw those teams place in the top two of the competition. In addition to the several individual awards earned, the cadets of the “A-Team” took first place and the “Viper Team” took second.

The first place team will represent the Arizona Wing at the regional competition to be held in Texas.