Tag Archives: Dr. Kathleen Martin

Former Army Aviator Addresses Daedalians in El Paso, Texas

    John Signorino

Long-time Life Member of the FASF and also VP of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) Chapter 1570 in nearby Santa Teresa, NM, John Signorino,* was the special speaker at the local Daedalian Flight 24 meeting held at Fort Bliss’ Golf Club, yesterday.  This was the first real meeting since early last year, all because of the restrictions placed upon social gatherings throughout Texas because of COVID.

Although many members are still not ready to attend regular meetings, the Flight did get a reasonable post-COVID turnout of 19 attendees.  John had been scheduled to give his address to the Flight late last Summer, but that and several other attempts to have him speak were all canceled because of pandemic restraints and the closing of our various venues.

Normally the Flight meets each month at the Old downtown El Paso Club, but the Club has remained closed ever since the first lockdown order in March of 2020.  The Flight expressed their thankfulness to John for his patience at having been canceled so many times.

The main thrust of John’s talk was focused on his post-military experience with the EAA along with the founding of Chapter 1570, back in 2015.  Since its beginnings, the Chapter has accomplished many notable achievements, but the one John feels most significant is its highly successful Young Eagle Events.  Except for 2020, because of the pandemic lock-downs, each previous year the Chapter has hosted at least one, sometimes even two Young Eagle Events. Here is one of our posts of one of the last, pre-COVID, flights.

It is this Young Eagle enterprise that John feels will help overcome the country’s looming severe shortage of pilots.  How?  Because it introduces the nation’s youth to the thrill and challenges of becoming a pilot while still quite young.  This popular EAA youth program gives free airplane rides and introductions to flight to youngsters from 8 to 17 years old.  It also gives grants and/or scholarships to young teenagers so that they can undergo actual flight training, often paying for the achievement of their Private Pilot’s License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

While Drones are a huge new development in aviation, there will nevertheless still be a serious requirement for hands-on-aviators in the foreseeable future.  Both the Airlines and U.S. Military services have expressed serious concerns about the coming shortage of new pilots.  One of the major issues facing those who do want to become aviators is the current-day high cost of pilot training.  When yours truly learned to fly back during WWII (1944), the cost was not all that significant.

Here, below, is a short (2:52 minute) video clip about John’s topic, YOUNG EAGLES.

Here are some photos taken at yesterday’s meeting.  Virtually all local Daedalians are long-time members of the FASF, and John is one of the FASF distinguished LIFE MEMBERS because he gave full days of his professional helicopter pilot-time during our 2019 joint exercise with the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers‘ Geographic 3D Project Team when they spent a week in Columbus during June and July of 2019 3D mapping the historic 1916 Army Airfield’s topography and that of the surrounding Camp Furlong terrain.  During that operation, John was directly responsible for the taking of well over 30,000 high-resolution photographs of our area from another Life FASF member, Mike McNamee’s, former (and fully-restored) Army “SCOUT” helicopter.  Mike’s light-weight rotary-wing machine had several other affectionate nicknames: the “LOACH” and/or the “LITTLE BIRD.”

                             Col. Alan Fisher opens his first meeting as the Flight’s new Captain.

L to R: Alan Fisher asks Roger Springstead, Flight Chaplain, to give the meeting blessing.

Chatting before meeting begins are two long-time FASF members and also Aviation News Scouts, Virg Hemphill (L) and Jerry Dixon (R)

(L) Speaker John Signorino and FASF Trustee, Dr. Kathleen Martin, an oft-times guest of the Daedalians

                                              Virg Hemphill, Flight Treasurer, gives his report to the group.

L to R: Alan Fisher, Julie Pitt, Mario Campos, Kathleen Martin, and Mark Pfluger.  John Signorino is at the podium.

                                                  John Signorino describes the EAA Young Eagles

Captured in foreground during John’s presentation are Gerry Wingett, Mary Barnes, & Roger Springstead (back).

Col. Bob Pitt, Julie Pitt, Mark Pfluger, Mario Campos, Ulla & Col. Rice, Gill Gonzales + on Screen, Yours Truly in 1955!

                                                                                            John in action.

More of John.

                                                                              John makes a point.

L to R: Colonel Fisher gives John a token of Flight 24’s appreciation.

  •      John Signorino

    John Signorino retired in 2012 from the military with 28 years of service. John enlisted in the Army shortly after high school at the age of 18. He began his career as an electronic technician working on land-based telephone communication and microwave relay stations. Six years after joining the Army he was selected to attend Warrant Officer Flight Training.

    During John’s flying career he flew both helicopter and fixed-wing airplanes. He was qualified in the UH-1H, TH-67, AH-64A, C-12, RC-12H, and Dash 7. John served as an instructor pilot and a safety officer and served multiple tours in Korea, Iraq, Bosnia, and South America.

    During his military career, John proved himself to be a self-motivated, take-charge individual who has held several significant and vital positions. John is an exceptional leader and trainer. While in various positions, he provided excellent leadership skills and direction that promoted the sharing and encouragement of new ideas. As a teacher and mentor, he helped to counsel others on numerous occasions and has willingly shared his vast wealth of knowledge and experience with less experienced personnel.

    While in the Army, John was called upon to work long and arduous hours often under stressful conditions while maintaining an exemplary and professional manner. He has shown himself to be an exceedingly dedicated and superbly organized individual. He is a proven team player and does not hesitate to provide constructive suggestions to improve operations.

    John has had an entrepreneurial mindset since he was a teenager. While in the military, he started two successful businesses. After retiring, John was selected to Oklahoma State University Veterans Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. In 2013, John opened a Pop-A-Lock franchise in El Paso which specialized in auto, residential, and commercial locksmith work.

    John demonstrated that he learns quickly and is readily able to self-teach himself complex tasks. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle University, where he majored in business management. He also obtained his MBA from Grantham University, where his academic focus was on project management.

    John’s hobbies include motorcycles, hiking, and camping. He’s been married to his wife Mindy for 25 years. They have two children, a daughter, and a son, both of whom followed their father’s footsteps by joining the military right after high school. John and his wife currently live in El Paso, Texas.

    John is an exceptionally active member of the local, Santa Teresa Chapter 1570 of the EAA and has been its Vice President since it first opened its doors in June 2015. He continues to fly both fixed and rotary-winged aircraft in the General Aviation field.

 

 

 

Exactly 117 years ago, a rickety machine went airborne in NC

  Dr. Kathleen Martin

Former FASF 1st VP and now Trustee, Dr. Kathleen Martín, emails from Alabama to remind us that exactly 117 years ago today, the Wright Brothers made their first successful Flight in their heavier-than-air flying machine.

With that event in motion, one thing led to another, and here we are in celebration of not just that historic 1st flight, but also of what it brought about in Columbus, NM, some 13 years later, when American Airpower was born during the Punitive Expedition, in which Dr. Martín’s grandfather, William E. Jones, was one of the U. S. Army’s soldiers!

Kathleen quotes from the Writer’s Almanac of today:

On this day in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright had their first successful flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The brothers picked Kitty Hawk because it was full of sand dunes that would cushion crash landings and it had high winds to help get the plane off the ground.

The plane was unpredictable, he couldn’t plan out his moves, and he relied purely on instinct to adjust the plane up and down. Within a few moments, he overcompensated, nearly flipped the glider over, and shouted to his brother, “Let me down!” Suffering months of spin-outs, broken struts, blackened eyes, and crash landings, the brothers left Kitty Hawk early. On the train back, Wilbur told his brother, “Not within a thousand years will man ever fly.”

For the first flight, Wilbur won the coin-toss, but it was actually his brother, Orville, who made this first flight of a heavier-than-air powered flying machine over those windswept sand dunes at Kittyhawk, North Carolina.

Here’s Fly ‘n Things take on the day’s historic significance.

Thank you, Kathleen!

FASF Trustee Bill Wallace at his new Livestock Auction House

Trustee Bill Wallace III at main entrance to his office

When Bill Wallace III (at left) was first elected to the FASF Board of Trustees, he was the full-time manager, in Columbus, NM, of the CATTLEMEX corporation’s local cattle marshaling and Auction facilities on the Mexican Border a few miles South of Columbus.

But, some three years ago, Bill purchased a new home in Santa Teresa, NM, in the same private development in which another former Trustee and now Advisor, John Orton, lived.  This new home put Bill in much closer proximity to his new work place, the Santa Teresa Livestock Auction, located at the large U. S. Border Port of Entry at Santa Teresa, NM.

In another few months, Bill’s relatively new enterprise will celebrate if fourth year of successful business at the new facility.  Just today, Bill successfully auctions about 600 head of cattle to American cattlemen.  Most of the cattle auctioned by Bill’s business come from Mexico, while most of the buyers are American Ranchers and Cattlemen.  His average number of livestock being held at any given time is now approaching 1,000 head.  Bill’s operation is the largest such U.S./Mexican Border auction enterprise anywhere on our border with Mexico.

In constructing the new facilities, just as he had done at the CATTLEMEX operation in

   Dr. Grandin

Columbus, at Santa Teresa, Bill again had the internationally famous, Temple Grandin, PhD,  an animal/cattle behavioral scientist, design the cattle holding pens and chutes.  Dr. Grandin is well known for her ability to configure cattle handling facilities that minimize the stress that once posed such a traumatic experience to the cattle that were being processed.

Cattle Pens designed by Dr. Grandin

 

One immediately noticeable feature of Dr. Grandin’s designs is that there are no sharp corners nor straight fence lines.  Everything she fabricates for the livestock handling is composed of curves.  Here (at left) is and early example of what such Grandin pens look like.

 

Bill is a partner in the new operation at Santa Teresa and is its full-time manager.  This Trustee

L to R: Sr. Vega Vega, and Bill Wallace in Auction Hall

was raised in Mexico at the historic family ranch, Hacienda Rancho Corralitos, the very same ranch at which Bill’s great-grandfather once housed General Black Jack Pershing’s famous Buffalo Soldiers, during the same Punitive Expedition, which gave rise to the First Aero Squadron’s pioneering operation out of Columbus.  While your webmaster was visiting with Bill, yesterday, he was regularly interrupted by business cell phone calls, one of those calls is show in this post’s short (:47 second) video clip immediately below.

L to R: Mr. Vega bids goodbye to Bill.

Because Bill deals on a daily basic with both Mexican cattlemen and Americans, his bi-lingual language skill comes in more than  handy.  Because of the international nature of the FASF, we always endeavor to have a number of Trustees that are also fully bi-lingual.  Our other two Spanish speaking members are our Treasurer, Alma Villezcas, who, like Bill, is also from Casas Grandes, Mexico, and our retired professor of Cultural Anthropology, Dr. Kathleen Martín, our previous 1st Vice President.

                               Bill stands behind his Auction Auditorium and nearby his new corrals and chutes.

 

Trustees Meet with Army Sergeants Major Academy Staff

The new U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Historian, Dr. Everett Dague, from Kansas, and the Academy’s NCO Heritage and Education Center’s History Specialist, Leigh E. Smith, and his wife, Gretta, had lunch today at FASF Business Supporter, Ivonne Romero’s (scroll down the page at link to read about Ivonne and her renown establishment) famous Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico.

Their hosts for this visit were FASF Trustees Dr. Kathleen Martin, FASF Treasurer, Alma Villezcas, and Trustee Ric Lambart, all seen in the below photo.  The manager of New Mexico’s esteemed Pancho Villa State Park and Director of its renown Exhibit Hall, John Read, and his wife, Elle, both long time members of the FASF, also took part in welcoming both Dr. Dague, and the Smiths to both Columbus and its sister city, Palomas, Mexico.

Both Dr. Dague and Leigh Smith regularly conduct “Army Staff Rides” from El Paso’s Fort Bliss to Columbus for the purpose of teaching Army combat history to their students from the Army’s Sergeants Major Academy.  Today’s gathering was to help both Mr. Smith and Dr. Dague become better acquainted with Columbus, NM, and some of the people who work with its unique history, which resulted from it being the launching place of the famous response to Pancho Villa’s raid on the town in 1916, and the resulting “Punitive Expedition,” which was launched by order of then President Woodrow Wilson.

The VIP visitors from Fort Bliss gifted the FASF with some special items of historical significance regarding the Army’s Sergeants Major Academy and about the Non-Commissioned Officer’s training – – – and of their significant role in making the history of the Army itself.

      Remember: To see any of the FASF Site’s photographs in High Resolution, simply click on them.

L to R above: Alma Villezcas, John Read, Elle Read, Gretta Smith, Leigh Smith, Dr. Kathleen Martin, Dr. Everett Dague, and Ric Lambart. The above photo is courtesy of the Pink Store!

After the lunch at the Pink Store, John Read demonstated his new video camera equipped drone (see below photos) with which he plans to make new aerial views of the historic FAS 1916-17 Airfield.  He launched his drone from the main East West Runway of the airfield.

Above, John Read, flies his drone aloft with his remote control instrument panel.  The view down the runway is East towards El Paso, TX

The drone’s quiet four rotor blades swiftly lifted the device so high above the runway that we lost sight of it altogether.  Here it is returning by its own internal GPS guidance system.