Tag Archives: NMSU

Rio Grande Aviation Council – Kickoff Organization Meeting

Organizational Meeting Title on Display Screens at WEAM

The brainchild of two local aviation leaders, Bob Dockendorf and John Keithly, The Rio Grande Aviation Council (RGAC) was put into motion this past weekend at the executive office meeting room of the War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM) at the Doña Ana County International Jetport.

Incidentally, the above photo is of the actual large LED Display screens that were mounted in the War Eagles’ meeting room, but the Rio Grande part was inadvertantly misspelled, leaving the “e” off at the end of Grande.

The two organizers recognized that there was no central or nexus organization through which the area’s many public-interest aviation groups and organizations might express both their legitimate public interests in their common industry, or to work more efficently to help collectively protect those same interests.  In short, the new council would provide a more unified voice for the West Texas and SW New Mexico areas in respect to aviation related issues and interests.

Accordingly, Bob invited the area’s numerous public-interest and non-profit aviation groups to meet together at the WEAM.  At least one or more representatives of each of the local (within a 100 mile radius of El Paso, Texas and Santa Teresa, NM) aviation groups appeared on Saturday, the 6th of April, to help organize this new organization.

Bob and John recommended that the new organization be somewhat amporphous in nature and purposely not be formally structured, rather that it operate without any specific permanent officers or heirarchy.  Its main functions would be to provide a sounding board, brain-storming platform, and a clearing house for the member organizations’ interests.  It would, additionally, help provide a unified collective voice for the members’ common aviation interests.

Attending were: Both the El Paso (215) and Las Cruces (24) Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Squadrons; both the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Air Force ROTC and AROTC units from the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP); The El Paso Daedalians Flight; The El Paso Aviation Association; the El Paso Chapter of the Ninety-Nines (International Organization of Women Pilots); both chapters of the EAA, from Las Cruces (555), and Santa Teresa (1570), NMThe First Aero Squadron Foundation (FASF); the Las Cruces Aviators Club; The several local area High School Junior ROTC units; Air Force Association; the United States Air Force Academy and USAFA Alumni Chapter (USAFA)City of Las Cruces International Airport and the Doña Ana County International Jetport Airport; The Academy of Model Aeronatics; the El Paso Radio Controllers (EPRC – RC Model Airplane Club); The Dust Devil Flying Club, the new UTEP Four Year Aviation and Space Program; and the local Quiet Birdmen (QB).

The representatives of each group discussed their particular assets and current principal needs and goals.

Several other aviation groups were invited, but couldn’t make this intial organizational meeting, but will hopefully participate in future conferences.  Such future gatherings will be held at the WEAM on a quarterly basis.

The following photos show some of those who attended as representatives of their respective aviation groups:

(Any of the below photos may be seen in full high-resolution by simply clicking on them)

Mrs. Mary Dockendorf registers John Adams of the EL Paso Composite Squadron 215 of the CAP.

President Wes Baker of the Las Cruces EAA Chapter 555 parks his Cessna 140 on the ramp in front of the WEAM.

L to R: Col. Mario Campos (Daedalian Society), Juan Brito (EPAA), Fritz Gatlin (EPRC Club), and Tom Holmsley (AMA)

L to R: Todd Parsont (Franklin HS JAFROTC), Ana Donahue (Drone Pilot for the Elephant Butte Irrigation District-EBID), Squadron Commander, Travis McKenzie and Col. Alan Fisher (CAP Squadron 24) line up to sign in for the meeting.

L to R: Ana Donahue (EBID), Todd Parsont (JAFROTC), Presidents Wes Baker (EAA 555) and John Keithly (EAA 1570), Col. Mario Campos (hidden behind) Juan Brito (EPAA).

L to R starting with those sitting with backs to the windows: Travis McKenzie and Mike LeGendre (CAP), Rick King (Santa Teresa Flying Club), Col. Alan Fisher (CAP), Malcolm White (USAFA), John Adams (CAP), Ana Donahue ((EBID), Todd Parsont (JAFROTC), Wes Baker and John Keithly (EAA Presidents), Col. Mario Campos (Daedalians), Juan Brito (EPAA), Fritz Gatlin (EPRC), Tom Holmsley (AMA), (three people with their backs to camera, and L to R) Elliott Werner (EAA), Bob Dockendorf (WEAM) and Didi Shaffer (Chair of the El Paso Chapter of the 99’s).

R to L clockwise: Rick King (Sta. Teresa Flying Club), Col. Alan Fisher (CAP), Malcolm White (USAFA), John Adams (CAP), Ana Donahue (EBID), Todd Parsont (JAFROTC), Wes Baker and John Keithly (EAA), Mike McGee (UTEP), Col. Mario Campos (Daedalians), Mary Dockendorf (WEAM), Juan Brito (EPAA), and Fritz Gatlin (EPRC).

L to R: Ana Donahue (EBID), Todd Parsont (RAFROTC) and Wes Baker (EAA)

L to R: Todd Parsont (JAFROTC), Wes Baker and John Keithly (EAA).

L to R clockwise: Ana Donahue (EBID), Todd Parsont (JAFROTC), Wes Baker (EAA), John Keithly (EAA), Mike McGee (UTEP), Col. Mario Campos (Daedalians), Juan Brito (EPAA), Fritz Gatlin (EPRC).

Clockwise R to L: (only part of his back to camera) Mike McGee (UTEP), Mario Campos (Daedalians), Juan Brito (EPAA), Fritz Gatlin (EPRC), Tom Holmsley (AMA), Tania Privette (LCA), Andy Hume (Las Cruces Int’l. Airport), Didi Shaffer (99’s), Bob Dockendorf (WEAM), Elliott Werner (EAA), Javier Caraveo (USAFA & AFROTC), Travis McKenzie and Mike LeGendre (CAP), and Rick King (Santa Teresa Flying Club).

L to R: John Keithly (EAA 1570), Dr. Mike McGee (UTEP), Col. Mario Campos (Daedalians), and Juan Brito (EPAA).

L to R: Andy Hume (Las Cruces Int’l. Airport), Tania Privette (LCA), and Didi Shaffer (99’s).

                                      Didi Schaffer (Chair of El Paso Chapter of the Ninety-Nines).

Meeting Chairman, Bob Dockendorf, principal organizer of the Rio Grand Aviation Council

USAF ROTC Cadet Captain Ammber Valverde explains the UTEP/NMSU ROTC programs.

RGAC Organizational Meeting Representatives – L to R: John Keithly, Ric Lambart, Travis McKenzie, Mario Campos, Alan Fisher, Mike LeGendre, Mike McGee, Rick King, Elliott Werner, Tania Privette, Andy Hume, Didi Shaffer, Ammber Valverde, Ana Donahue, Javier Cavaveo, Juan Brito, Wes Baker, Todd Parsont, Tom Holmsley, Fritz Gatlin, John Adams, Malcolm White, and Bob Dockendorf.

 

Colonel Lee Retires From the Army and Joins AMAZON.COM!

After 25 years and 8 months of active duty with the US Army, our FASF Trustee, James K. “Jimmy” Lee, has retired from the service.

                                   L to R: Jimmy Lee and Ric Lambart at lunch in El Paso Texas yesterday.

While initially serving on our Board, this native North Carolinian was the Commanding Officer of the University of Texas, El Paso’s (UTEP) Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AROTC) Battalion, known as the Fighting Miners (see below photos).  To see his more complete and varied background, check out Jimmy’s Biography right here (scroll down the page).

                        Jimmy Adresses his UTEP graduating class of new U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenatnts this Spring.

Just prior to retiring, the Colonel looked at various civilian work opportunities, and was given the most attractive offer by the International Marketing firm, AMAZON.COM.

      Jimmy congratulates one of his new 2nd Lieutenants, Demeatia Jasper, during the UTEP Graduation ceremony.

In his new job as Operation’s Manager, Jimmy supervises some 54 employees and is responsible for efficiently managing one of AMAZON’S major “Fullfillment Centers,” which is what AMAZON calls its major shipping facilities throughout the world.

In his personal life, Jimmy has been an enthusiastic parachutist, which means that on any given weekend you are likely to find him at one of the nearest airports busily jumping – and then busily repacking his parachutes.  He has 96 civilian sport parachute jumps to his credit, excluding 5 while in the Army – so he’s had over 100 jumps altogether. 

The Lees have two young sons; one, now 20, is already away at College and the younger, 17, is in his last year of High School.  Both young men share their Dad’s enthusiasm for both sports and the military, so intend to follow his example in their own upcoming careers.

Earlier this year, Colonel Lee made a special presentation to a group of former military aviators, all also active members of the FASF, the Daedalians, at the local El Paso Club.

We wish Jimmy the best in his new endeavor – – – and are happy to learn that he has every intention of remaining active and of helping us with his leadership skills, as a Trustee with the FASF, as it moves into the future!

 

Colonel Jimmy Lee Speaks to Daedalian Flight 24 in El Paso

Lt. Colonel James K. “Jimmy” Lee, Jr., Professor of Military Science and Commander of the University of Texas (UTEP) Army ROTC’s “Fighting Miner Battalion” in El Paso, Texas, gave a special Power Point and Video presentation  to the Daedalian Flight 24 at the El Paso Club in downtown El Paso, yesterday.  Almost every member of Daedalian Flight 24 is also an active member of the FASF. 

Colonel Lee gave an animated description of the current University ROTC program which he directs at UTEP.  Jimmy, an Army Mustang and recipient of the coveted SILVER STAR medal for heroism in battle, has been one the FASF’s Trustees for the past three years.  His background is here on the FASF Trustee Page of this site.

Each semester at UTEP, Colonel Lee’s Battalian of Cadets conducts a “Staff Ride” over to visit and study the Army’s history, including that of the First Aero Squadron’s involvement in the “Punitive Expedition” back in 1916 and 1917, at Columbus, NM, the birthplace of American Air Power and rebirth place of American Civil Aviation.

              Remember to click on any of the following photos to see them in high definition.

                                                    Colonel Lee opening his Power Point Presentation.

L to R: All taking in Jimmy’s talk, are: Mario Campos, Charlie Overstreet, Lt. Commander Cindy Sweeney, Roger Springstead, Norm Rice and Virg Hemphill.

            Jimmy describes the many and diverse opportunies for scholarships provided by the ROTC programs.

The Colonel shows some of examples of both Air and watercraft used by the U.S. Army in today’s combat.

Slide Jimmy presented showing the surprising use of both aircraft and boats by today’s Army as related to those assets used by the other services.

         Jimmy fielding questions from the Daedalians about the previous Army Comparative Equipment Chart.

In answer to a question from Daedalian Colonel PittJimmy explained the battelfield circumstances that led to the award of his Silver Star medal in Iraq.

L to R: Listening to Jimmy’s presentation are: Larry Spradlin, Pete Brandon, and Alan Fisher.

                                                      Jimmy fielding more questions from the Daedalians.

Retired USAF Colonel Alan Fisher, who once commanded the AFROTC unit at New Mexico State University, comparing notes after the presentation with Colonel Lee. Daedalian Fight Captain, Roger Nichols a retired USAF Navigator and Pilot is behind the podium between the two experienced ROTC commanders.

L to R: Posing after the event are: Colonel Bob Pitt, Simon Hernandez (Assistant to Colonel Lee, and the UTEP ROTC Recruiting and Scholarship Chief), Jimmy Lee, Roger Nichols and Ric Lambart.  Group photo courtesy of Daedalian and 1st Aero member, Roger Springstead. All above but Mr. Hernandez are active FASF members.