Tag Archives: Civil Air Patrol

El Paso Daedalians Have NMSU AFROTC Cadets to Luncheon

This past Wednesday, at El Paso’s Fort Bliss golf club, Daedalian Flight 24 entertained some of the upper class AFROTC Cadets from New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) Detachment 505.

This gave the Cadets a good chance to get to know an active duty Air Force pilot, the luncheon’s presenter, along with a number of Daedalian former USAF, Navy and Marine aviators, as well.

Many of the Daedalians, all of whom are long time FASF members, also entered the USAF from ROTC units.  The guest visit was arranged by FASF member, Air Force Academy graduate, and Daedalian Flight Commander, Colonel Alan Fisher. 

Uniquely enough, well over twenty years earlier, Col. Fisher had been the Air Force Commander of these Cadet’s own AFROTC Detachment 505 at NMSU.

The guest speaker, Major Max Weaver, USAF, is from Arizona. He was raised in a family that valued service; his father served in the US Army and both his parents were police officers. In high school Maj Weaver joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) which gave him his first actual flight experience flying in CAP unit Cessna 172s. After High School, he majored in Foreign Area Studies at the Air Force Academy and spent a semester abroad in Nanjing, China where he learned their Mandarin dialect. He graduated with honors and was commissioned in 2011.

Next he attended joint Undergraduate Pilot Training with the Navy at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field, flying the Texan T-6B II.  See below photo.

U. S. Navy T-6 III Trainer

Maj. Weaver earned his wings in the T-1 “Jayhawk” at Vance AFB in 2013.  Photo below:

USAF Multi-engine Trainer, Beechcraft T-1 Jayhawk

His first post flight training assignment was flying the C-17 Globemaster at McChord AFB, Washington.  He accrued over 1,000 hours in the C-17 and saw duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Japan, and many other countries delivering mission critical cargo and supporting Presidential operations.  Globemaster III photo below.

McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster III

In 2016 he began training on the MQ-9 “Reaper” at Holloman AFB, NM. His next assignment was to Ellsworth AFB, SD where he flew the Reaper Drone a total of 1,100 hours. These Close Air Support missions were flown in Iraq and Afghanistan to support ground forces fighting ISIS in the liberation of Raqqa and other territories.  Reaper photos below.

he USAF MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV – or Drone)

The Reaper has also been found useful in fighting forest fires.

As can only be experienced as a UAV or Drone pilot, Major Weaver flew all of these combat missions from a safe haven at an Air Force Base in the continental U.S. In 2020 he was transferred to Holloman AFB as an MQ-9 instructor pilot. He currently serves in that capacity and also as a Wing Flying Safety Officer while instructing students in the Air Force’s largest MQ-9 formal training program.

In his presentation to the Daedalians and guest AFROTC Cadets, he used the projector screen to show us some of the aircraft in which he accumulated his flight experience . . . including the Reaper.

Here, below, are some of the photos from Wednesday’s event.  To see them in full high resolution simply click on the photos:

                               Colonel Fisher, Daedalian Flight Commander, greets arriving members and guests.

L to R: Cadets Preston Kaplan and Patrick Sambrano waiting be be introduced.

L to R: Colonel Mario Campos, Cadets Sukarno, Malone, Baca, Soliz, Kaplan and Sambrano.

L to R: Mayre Sue Overstreet, with Col. Bob Pitt, Larry Spradlin, and Colonel Mario Campos

L to R: Charlie Overstreet, his brother, Lane (a former AF fighter & bomber pilot, PAA pilot), and Roger Springstead

L to R: Pete Brandon pours water for Colonel Pitt, whose head of hair is at right.

L to R: Cadet Dzaki Sukarno and USAF Pilot to be, Cadet Joshua Soliz

Roger Springstead, Lane Overstreet, Virg Hemphill, Jerry Dixon, Charlie Overstreet, Cadets Sukarno, Soliz and Mayre Overstreet

Flight 24 Captain Colonel Alan Fisher opens the meeting

USAF Cadet Dzaki Sukarno explained his Cadet status and USAF intentions.

L to R: Mayre, Charlie and Lane Overstreet, Cadet Soliz, Roger Springstead Virg Hemphill and Cadet Sukarno

L to R:  Cadet Kaplan and Larry Spradlin listen to Cadet Sambrano speaking – while Shelly Schlick serves Larry

                 Major Weaver puts his beloved C-17 Globemaster III on screen to describe his experiences piloting it

Next Major Weaver  showed slides of what it looked like from a Tanker aircraft while refueling the C-17

                Daedalians and guests listen intently as Major Weaver related his USAF career path to date

After his presentation, Colonel Fisher (R) presented Major Weaver (L) with a token of our appreciation for his talk

FASF Aviation News Scout and Daedalian, Virg Hemphill (R) engaged in USAF banter with Major Weaver (L)

Cadets posed with Major Weaver after the luncheon . . . L to R: Kameron Baca, Patrick Sambrano, Joshua Soliz, Maj. Max Weaver, Dzaki Sukarno, Preston Kaplan and Daniel Malone.

EAA and FASF’s Bob Dockendorf Inducted into Hall of Fame

   Long time FASF and EAA Member, Bob Dockendorf poses proudly with his new Hall of Fame medal about his neck.

The FASF’s long-standing member from El Paso, Bob Dockendorf,  has just been elected by the Board of Directors of the El Paso Aviation Association and the local Aviation Community to be inducted into the El Paso Aviation Hall of Fame.  This past weekend celebrated this significant event with a special banquet, packed with area aviation celebrities and held at the Dona Ana Country International Jetport‘s famed War Eagles Air Museum (“WEAM”).

Most know Bob as the Executive Director of WEAM, but there is more you may not know:

Not just for his accomplishments as Director of WEAM, where, as its Executive Director, he has taken the historical facility to a new level of admirable excellence, but he was a key founder among the few local area aviators who started the highly successful new EAA chapter 1570 at the Dona Ana County International Jetport.

He also directed the start of the John and Betty MacGuire student Pilot scholarship as part of that same EAA 1570 project. This student contribution provides both an aircraft and flight instruction for young adults up to and including their first solo flight.

Those are but just a few of his aviation contributions to our local communities.  Besides his personal membership in the FASF, Bob’s beloved WEAM is one of our proud Local Business Supporters, too.

Here is a quote from the official Aviation Hall of Fame Award plaque created in Bob’s Honor:

Even in his childhood days, Robert J. (Bob) Dockendorf had a passion for history,
aviation and museums.  Born and educated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, several job
promotions and opportunities eventually brought him, his wife Mary and their
family to El Paso, Texas.

He served proudly as the Squadron Leader of the Sun Country Squadron of the
Commemorative Air Force as well as an Officer of Chapter 1570 of the Experimental
Aircraft Association.

While completing his career as a property and casualty insurance broker, he served
in a professional advisory capacity to the newly formed War Eagles Air Museum.  When
he retired from his successful insurance career, he was offered the opportunity and
challenge to serve as the War Eagles Air Museum’s Executive Director.

Being armed with aircraft, automobiles, memorabilia, and a deep desire to succeed, he
led the staff and volunteers at War Eagles to the accomplishment of the mission of the
museum, “To Educate and Encourage,” paying specific attention to youth.  All those efforts
helped bring new life and energy to the Dona Ana County International Jetport at Santa
Teresa, New Mexico, adjacent to El Paso, Texas.

The following photographs were taken this past weekend at the ceremony and Banquet held in Bob’s honor, where Bob was inducted into the El Paso Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.

L to R: John Keithly, President of the EAA Chapter 1570 chats with Virg Hemphill, FASF Aviation News Scout and Volunteer Docent at WEAM.  To Virg’s right in background, is FASF member and also Docent, Charlie Overstreet.

L to R: Docent Charlie Overstreet talking with Mario Campos, also a Docent at WEAM. Both are members of the FASF.

L to R: Ammber Valverde, Daedalian Aviation Scholarship winner, engaged in a lively discussion with her table mate, former El Paso, TX Mayor and renown local Aviator, Suzie Azar, who is also one of the FASF’s Advisors Ammber is a Junior at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and also a member of the New Mexico State University (NMSU) AFROTC.  She plans to be an Air Force Pilot.

L to R: at the Daedalian Society Table is: Virg and Jenine Hemphill, Roger Nichols, Mayre Sue and Charlie Overstreet, and Mario and Judy Campos.  All are active FASF members.

The El Paso CAP Table with two prior Hall of Fame awardees, Roland and Debbie Torres, along with their Cadet Honor Guard: From (R to L), Cadet Captain Hunter Spier in Dress Blue uniform, and C/CMSgt Jonathan Herl, C/Amn Eryal Martinez, C/MSgt Daniel Erives, , and  C/A1C Vida Rote. This is the group of CAP Cadets who conducted the Flag Ceremonies at the opening and closing of the event.

L to R: Virg Hemphill, Honored Hall of Famer, Bob Dockendorf, Roger Nichols, and Jenine Hemphill.

                           Bob Dockendorf after accepting the Hall of Fame Award, speaking to the guests.

View of the tables and attendees at the Banquet.

Guest speaker and aviation enthusiast, “Doppler” Dave Spielman, long time Chief Meteorologist for the ABC Network TV Channel in El Paso, TX, KVIA.

   Ammber Valverde with Daedalian Flight Captain, Roger Nichols.  Roger’s flight is helping mentor Ms. Valverde

 Amber poses with Mr. Dockendorf along with Laura Ditlevson, former winner of the EAA MacGuire Student Pilot Scholarship.

 

Ammber intently listens to former FASF Trustee and present FASF Advisor and Chair of the Dona Ana County International Jetport’s Board of Directors, Col. John Orton.  An ex USAF JAG officer, John continues to fly his own Experimental Aircraft.

CAP Squadron Commander, Natalie Franc, Briefs Daedalians

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. Campos and 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 Fisher and Virg Hemphill listen to Maj. Franc explaining 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 Natalie describes 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 Franc and Flight Captain Roger Nichols study 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 Nichols and newly inducted Daedalian, Dave Ginn, and Colonel Bob Pitt.