Major Natalie Franc, a native of Glenhrothes, Scotland, is the current commanding officer of the El Paso, TX Civil Air Patrol (CAP) “Composite” Squadron. As distinguished from a regular squadron, a Composite Squadron includes a CAP Cadet Corps, along with its Senior Members.
Natalie began her career with the CAP when living in Hawaii after having been in the Royal Air Force (RAF), in which she enlisted when 18 years old, after having first served, since she was 13, in the Air Training Corps of Great Britain. In the RAF she was assigned to Intelligence, where she used her skills as a linguist with a fluency in the Russian Language.
When on active duty with the RAF she met and married her husband, Michael, who was also in the Intelligence branch of the U. S. Army. When he was transferred back to the U.S. in 2002, she moved there with him. Before finally settling in El Paso, Texas, Natalie had lived in Maryland, Hawaii, Arizona, and Germany. As a civilian, in addition to her work with the CAP, she has worked in various capacities in Emergency Services and has been a volunteer with Army Family Programs and has also been an Armed Forces Caseworker. Natalie now runs her own business in El Paso.
The Major showed a custom prepared Power Point slide show to the Daedalian Flight members, who are also members of the FASF. The following photographs of this event are all in high-resolution, and can be seen full-size by simply clicking on them as they appear below.
L to R: Major Natalie Franc, Colonels Mario Campos and Bob Pitt.
L to R: FASF Aviation News Scout, Virgil Hemphill, Colonels Norman Rice (back to camera) and Alan Fisher. Colonel Fisher is also an active volunteer pilot for the Las Cruces, NM Squadron of the CAP.
L to R: Mark Pfluger, Active Duty Army Rotary Wing Pilot from Ft. Bliss’ Biggs Army Airfield, and his mentor, Flight Captain, Roger Nichols.
L to R: Maj. Franc, Col. Camposand his wife, Judy, Julie and Col. Bob Pitt, Retired USAF Colonels, Melissa and Alan Fisher, Virg Hemphill and Roger Springstead (USNR Ret.) Anselmo Rocha, Assistant to Col. Norman and Mrs. Ulla Rice, Jerry Dixon (USMC), Dave Ginn, Charlie Overstreet, Jim Brandon, Col. Pete Brandon’s visiting brother, and just out of camera range to Pete’s left is his guest, Skip Orrell.
Major Franc adjusts computer projector . . . as she explains that the CAP has the largest single-engined fleet of Cessna Aircraft in the world. The powered aircraft total is about 560, and she reported that the CAP also owns 47 glider-sailplanes, which are used to train Cadet members, along with several Hot Air Balloons, which select Cadets are also taught to operate and fly.
The Major explains the National CAP organization’s composition . . . which inlcudes the Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
In this set of slides, Major Franc gives some examples of the CAP role in Search and Rescue Operatrions (“SAR” Ops).
L to R: Melissa and Alan Fisherand Virg Hemphill listen to Maj. Francexplaining her El Paso TX CAP operation . . .
Here the CAP Commander explains the role of the CAP in disaster Relief Operations, noting her own squadron’s heavy involvement in Hurricane Harvey, which struck East Texas, in particular, the Houston area.
In this slide the Major explains that the CAP mission also includes other roles in addition to Search and Rescue and Disater Relief . . . pointing out that her squadron plays an important role in Border and National Air Space Security.
Here Nataliedescribes the numerouis mission qualifications in which CAP members work throughout the Squadrons.
And here she shows the Daedalians and their guests how the CAP stays in constant radio contact with its mission personnel and aircraft during operations . . .
Major Franc sums up her presentation and takes questions from the audience . . .
L to R: Major Francand Flight Captain Roger Nicholsstudy one of the slides shown during the presentation.
L to R: Col. Bob Pitt, Major Natalie Franc, Flight Captain Roger Nichols, and Colonel Campos, who invited the Major to make the presentation . . .
L to R: Flght Captain Nicholsand newly inducted Daedalian, Dave Ginn, and Colonel Bob Pitt.
Daedalian Flight 24 Captain, Roger Nichols, and Vice Captain, Ric Lambart, both long time active FASF members, once again had the privilege of presenting Leadership Awards to graduates of the Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon programs at Halloman Air Force Base (HAFB) near Alamagordo, NM, earlier this month.
Other Daedalian Flight members, all from El Paso, Texas, also attended the gala event, at which the principle guest speaker, Four Star General James M. Holmes, himself once a USAF Fighter Pilot, gave an inspiring address to the graduates, their instructors, parents and friends.
Other Daedalians at the event also included Colonel Mario Campos and his wife, Judy,Colonel Bob Pitt and wife, Julie, Virg Hemphill and wife, Jenine, Charlie Overstreetand wife, Mayre Sue, and Jerry Dixon. Virtually all the Daeedalian Society members from the El Paso Flight are also long time FASF members.
For the first time, HAFB combined two fighter squadrons into one graduation ceremony, which was held in one of the Base’s large aircraft hangars. Approximately 400 graduates and guests attended the ceremony, which included the 311th and 314 Fighter Squadrons.
Here are the photos taken during the event – see any photo in hi-resolution by clicking on it:
Captain Coke Nolan, at left, one of the two MC’s for the event talking with Daedalian Flight Captain, Roger Nichols . .
L to R above: Jenine and Virg Hemphill,Mayre Sue and Charlie Overstreet.
L to R: Jerry Dixon, MJ Tucker of HAFB, who handled the graduation details, greeting Colonel Mario Campos, while Colonel Bob Pitt looks on.
L to R: FASF Aviation News Scouts and Daedalians, Virg Hemphill and Retired USMC Aviator, Jerry Dixon.
View of the stage and the two MC’s busily running through their smooth routine before the audience.
L to R: Judy Campos, Julie Pitt, Roger Nichols, Bob Pitt, Ric Lambart, Charlie Overstreet and Mario Campos.
Again, View of the stage and the two squadron MC’s animatedly running through their amusing routines before the audience.
One of the two Daedalian Tables with, L to R: Ret. USAF Fighter Pilot, Col. Miles “Cowboy” Crowell, Roger Nichols, Marioand Judy Campos, Charlie and Mayre Sue Overstreet.
The other Daedalian Table, with ((Clockwise from front Left: Jerry Dixon, Jenine and Virg Hemphill, Julie and Bob Pitt, newly retired fighter Pilot and his still active duty USAF Flight Nurse wife, and another Flight Nurse.
Graduates and guests begining to fill their plates for dinner.
L to R: Colonel Jeff “Tank” Patton congratuting the 311th Squadron’s winner of the “River Rat” award, and co-presenter, retired USAF Col. Cowboy Crowell.
L to R: Roger Nichols presents Daedalian Leadership Award to Capt. Foley Elliot, F-16 graduate from the 311th FS.
L to R: Ric Lambart congratulates the 314th Fighter Squadron’s Lt. “Banjo” Rutledge on his Leadership Award.
Daedalians all, Lto R: Bob Pitt, Jerry Dixon, Roger Nichols, Capt. Foley Elliot and Lt. Banjo Rutledge, Daedalian Awardees, with Ric Lambart, Charlie Overstreet, Mario Campos, and Virg Hemphill.
Daedalian, Colonel “Cowboy” Crowell describes the hiostory of the “River Rat” award, which has its roots back during the Vietnam conflilct.