Tag Archives: Ric Lambart

RAID DAY COMMITTEE MEETS TO PLAN FOR MARCH 9, 2019

L to R: Background are Bill Armendariz – Editor in Chief of the Deming Headlight newspaper, Maria Jimenez of Casas Grandes, Mexico, and Alma Villezcas, FASF Treasurer; in forground are (L to R)  July McClure, FASF Aerodrome Editor and John Read retired Mgr. of Pancho Villa State Park.  Before his retirement last month, John made all the arrangements for the upcoming RAID DAY events at the local New Mexico State Park.

This past Friday, key members of the 2019 Raid Day Planning Committee met at the famous Palomas, Mexico “PINK STORE” (longtime commercial suporter of the FASF!) to discuss the upcoming annual RAID DAY event in Columbus.  The below photos capture most of the participants.

The majority of the group are all long time active members of the FASF.

This year the memorial event, which commemorates the disasterous raid on the town of Columbus, NM, by Mexican Revolutionary General Francisco “Pancho” Villa, a tragedy which took the lives of some 18 innocent Americans, will fall on a Saturday, March 9th.

Some 1500 of the Villistas (as Villa’s troops became known) attacked the sleeping village under cover of darkness that fateful day.  In response to this attack, then US President Wilson ordered US Army General “Black Jack” Pershing to organize the “Punitive Expedition” as a means of capturing or destroying Villa in retaliation for the attack.  It was this Expeditionary force that gave rise to the first US Military deployment in sustained combat circumstances of two new weapons: The Airplane and the Motorized ground vehicle.

Thus, the incident saw the launching of the World’s Greatest Air Power in the small rural community of Columbus, NM.   There will be many events taking place on RAID DAY, from public historical presentations at both Pancho Villa State Park and at the Columbus Library.

FASF President, Ric Lambart, will conduct a slide and video presentation at the Library at 9:30 AM entitled “How Pancho Villa Saved the United States.”  Three historian experts on the Raid will make their presentations starting at 1:00 PM at the Pancho Villa State Park Recreation Hall.

The traditional RAID DAY Cabalgata Binacional, where horsemen (and women) from deep in Mexico ride into Columbus to join with hundreds of American riders, coming down from the North, will begin to enter the Village Plaza at approximately 11:00 AM.

The Columbus Historical Society (CHS), under the leadership of local Historian, Richard Dean (whose grandfather was one of the civilians killed by the Villistas), will also hold its own traditional solemn Memorial Service at the Society’s Depot Museum at 10:00 AM.

The joining of the Mexican and American riders is an annual gesture of the peace and goodwill now in effect between the two nations.  All throughout the town, there will be vendors supplying Mexican and American food.  There will also be entertainment by local musicians, such as the FASF’s own July McClure, along with Mariachi bands, and traditional Mexican folkloric dancers.  There will be much to see at this always well-attended event.

    In background (L to R),, John Read discussing plans with July McClure and Headlight Editor, Bill Armendariz.

L to R above: John Read speaking with (standing) Raul Martinez, Cabalgata Parade Marshall and CEO of the Pancho Villa Development Corporation.  The Pink Store waiter is speakiong to Norma Gomez, RAID DAY and CABALGATA EVENT organizer and Columbus Chamber of Commerce Secretary.  July McClure is enjoying her lunch and Bill Armendariz gets some event information from Norma.

The above photo of the planners was taken by Bill Armendariz.  L to R: Ric Lambart John Read, Raul Martinez, July McClure, Norma Gomez, Alma’s visiting guest from her homw down in Mexico, Sra. Maria Jimenez and Alma Villezcas in the foreground.

MEMBERS PHOTOGRAPHED AT VARIOUS HOLIDAY EVENTS

The following photos were taken at the annual Christmas Luncheon for Daedalian Flight 24 at the El Paso Club,  All members of the Flight are active members of the FASF.  The guest of honor and presenter at the event was Army Aviator, General Laura Yeager (no relation to the famous American Test Pilot, Chuck Yeager!), who briefed the members on her mission at Fort Bliss as Commander of the JOINT TASK FORCE NORTH.  All of the below photos are in high-resolution and can be more fully appreciated by simply clicking on them.

FASF members, Col. Bob Pitt (L) chats with (at center) Aviation Hall of Famer, Bob Dockendorf, at Daedallian holiday event.  AT the podium, at right, in the background is Flight Captain Roger Nichols.

Daedalians and guests prepare for General Yeager’s presentation . . . Her staff is at left: Aide de Camp, Capt. Sperry, and USAF Sergeant Oliver.  The General’s Command is a Joint Command, composed of all the military services.

L to R: Julie and Col. Bob Pitt, Roger Nichols and Bob Dockendorf

L to R at wall: Alma Villezcas, Virg and Jenine Hemphill, Lt. Pfluger, David Ginn, Alan and Melissa Fisher, and forefront, Julie Pitt, District Court Judge Angie Juarez Barilland her husband, Patrick Barill

L to R: Loading up their buffet lunch, Bob Dockendorf, Judy Campos, Alan and Melissa Fisher

Brig. General Laura L Yeager opens her presentation

       General Yeager explains how her Command coordinates with many other Federal Agencies in its mission.

                                                          Col. Bob Pitt and General Yeager

L to R: Outgoing Flight Captain, Roger Nichols, Gen. Yeager, Sgt. Oliver, Capt. Sperry and Col. Pitt

L to R: Gen. Yeager chatting with Cadet Ammber Valverde, the youngest FASF member and UTEP student.

                                              Col. Alan Fisher speaking with Cadet Ammber Valverde

L to R: Ammber Valverde, Gen. Yeager, and Alma Villezcas, FASF Treasurer

The following photos and the video are of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 24 Christmas party in Las Cruces, NM.

L to R: Michelle Phillips, William Benziger Juanita and Robert Macklin, Alan Fisher, and Walter Dutton, at whose home the event was held.

In front row kneeling or sitting are, L to R:  Alan and Melissa Fisher, Ric Lambart, Walter and Barbara Dutton,  and in the rear: Alma Villezcas, Travis McKenzie, Jim and Luann McConnell, Damien and Carol Blaschka, Robert and Juanita Macklin, William Benziger, Michelle Phillips, and Michael LeGendre. 

FASF PILOT MEMBERS VOLUNTEER FOR EAA YOUNG EAGLES

This past weekend, once again, EAA Chapter 1570, at the Dona Ana County International Jetport, produced its 5th successful Young Eagles event, an activity in which the Chapter members (most of them are also FASF members) gave free introductory airplane rides to children between the ages of 8 and 17.  All aircraft used belong to the chapter’s members.  The project’s Chairperson, once again, was Rotary and Fixed Wing Flight Instructor, Deb Rothchild.  Here, below, are some photos to show the popular youth education program in action.

Remember:  If you’d like to view any of the below photos in full high resolution, simply click on them.  Then, if you’d like, please feel free to download or copy them for you own use.

Above, Melissa Keithly, wife of the chapter’s President, John Keithly, and one of event’s principal organizers, with back to camera, greets, and begins to sign up first arrival parents and their children who want to get their Young Eagles Flight . . .

Helicopter pilot, Priscilla Porras, (pointing to her left) gives instructions to those signing up for their first flights . . .

A group of the volunteer pilots for the day talk over the coming flights – L to R: John Keithly (Chapter President), Mike Robinson, Jim Foster, Danny Carter, and Bryce Daniels.

Chairperson of the entire event, Professional Flight Instructor, Deb Rothchild, explains to the crowd the procedures and safety precautions . . .

War Eagles Air Museum’s (WEAM) Executive Director, Bob Dockendorf, looks on as project gets underway. Bob has been an active leader in the EAA Chapter 1570 since its earliest days and the Museum he directs is an integreal part of the Chapter’s success.

Chapter President, John Keithly greets his next Young Eagle for her flight.

Pilot John Signorino, El Paso business entreprenuer and Chapter Vice President, walks his Young Eagle to her first airplane flight in a Cessna Skylane.

Chapter Pilot, Dave Daniels, escorts his Young Eagle out to his plane, a vintage Piper Super Cub . . .

Pilot John Signorino, a former Army Air Services Pilot, helps his Young Eagle get belted in for her first adventure aloft.

Pilot Bryce Daniels, helps his Young Eagle adjust his seatbelt in readiness for his first flight. The plane is a Van’s RV 8 Experimental ship.

This Young Eagle gets his orientation before his flight from EAA Chapter 555 President, Wes Baker. His plane is a Classic 1948 Cessna 140, fully restored and in excellent ‘like-new’ condition. All General Aviation aircraft, regardless of age, must be fully inspected each year to assure that they fully meet established Federal Standards for their airworthiness.

Chapter President, John Keithly, describes their pending flight to his Young Eagle in his Chzech built “Dynamic” composite airplane. John and his wife, Melissa, just recently helped build their own new Van’s RV aircraft.

CEO and President of Red Arrow Flight Academy at the Dona Ana County Jetport, Tomas Peralta (R), explains how he has filled out his Young Eagle’s new Flight Log Book, while the young man’s father signs the Young Eagle Flight Certificate.

Chapter Pilot, Dave Daniels, completes his Young Eagle’s Flight Log Book as her father looks on.

Chapter Pilot, Danny Carter, poses with his Young Eagle and his Mother, before they take off in his Piper Commanche aircraft.

                  Pilot John Signorino and his Young Eagle pose before their flight in front of the Cessna 182 Skylane.

Pilot Dave Daniels, whose son, Bryce was also piloting the children in another aircraft, has just explained to this Young Eagle what they will do during her first flight in this vintage Piper PA-18 Super Cub.

Pilot Danny Carter, announces his departure over the radio, and taxis out from the loading area with his Young Eagle, as she happily waves to the Chapter photographer.

Pilot, Mike Robinson (R), in front of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane in which he just flew this Young Eagle and his father.

Pilot Wes Baker explains how to properly fasten the seat belt and shoulder harness to this Young Eagle before they depart.

L to R: Pilot Tomas Peralta, with his Young Eagle and young man’s father, after completing their flight in this Red Arrow Flght Academy Cessna 182 Skylane.

Dave Daniels walks back from his flight with this excited young lady, who has just completed her first Young Eagles airborne experience.

           John Keithly fills out this happy young lady’s Young Eagle Flight Log Book, after her first experience aloft.

                     A view of a somewhat inpatient group of Young Eagles awaiting their call-ups for their first flights.

L to R: Airline Pilot and author of the new aviation novel, “Quantum,” Roxanne Lambie, poses by her book-signing table inside the WEAM Shop, with Ammber Valverde, AFROTC student at New Mexico State University, and Daedalian Flight Scholarship winner, who plans to become an Air Force Pilot.

  Another photo of Pilot, Danny Carter, taxiing out for takeoff with two Young Eagles aboard his Piper Commanche.

       Pilot, Dave Daniels, fills out the Young Eagle Flight Certificate after completing a flight with this young man.

View through the Cessna 172 Skyhawk’s windshield of Pilot Mike Robinson and both his Young Eagle, in the Co-Pilot seat, and young fellow’s father in the rear.

          Dave Daniels poses with his next Young Eagle, who is adjusting his headset, as instructed by his host.

Pilot John Keithly and his grinning co-pilot Young Eagle, as they ready to start the engine in this Czech Dynamic.

                                       John Keithly fills out this same Young Eagle’s Flight Certificate.

Pilot, Wes Baker, President of the Las Cruces, NM EAA Chapter 555, completes this happy Young Eagle’s Flight Log Book.

L to R: Roxanne Lambie, and Ammber Valverde, who has an autographed copy of Roxanne’s new novel under her arm, busily chatting with EAA members outside the War Eagles Air Museum main entrance.

     L to R: Melissa Keithly, a Young Eagle’s father, Prescilla Porras., and Wes Baker at Registration Sign-In table.

L to R above:  Melissa Keithly, Young Eagle with his father and Priscilla Porras, helicopter pilot, discussing the event.

         John Keithly with another Young Eagle seated and ready to go, as young man’s father and brother watch.

Pilot John Keithly gets ready to take this same intrigued Young Eagle aloft for his initiation flight in John’s Czech Dynamic Experimental Aircraft.

Mike Robinson gets ready to close the Cessna Skyhawk’s door in readiness for this young lady’s first Young Eagle Flight experience.

John Signorino explaining how the elevator and rudder controls work on this Cessna Skylane as his next Young Eagle and his mother take it all in . . .

During a short break, (L to R) Volunteer chapter Pilots, John Signorino and Tomas Peralta talk over the ongoing Young Eagle event.

During the Young Eagle rally, many of the Young Eagles, their parents and visitors flocked in to view the great collection of airplanes, antique autos and motorcycles, and to also to buy souvenirs at the WEAM Gift Shop. Making change at the cash register is Kathryn Guerra, whose father, George, the Museum’s Operations Manager, is standing behind her in the light blue shirt.

Pilot Wes Baker listening to his Young Eagle trying to see if he properly understood Wes’ explanation of how an airplane climbs.

Piloting the helicopter back onto the tarmac, is Chapter Volunteer worker and chopper pilot, Priscilla Porras. The same model helicopter, owned by Chapter member Mike McNamee, gave some 17 Young Eagles their first helicopter ride during the project.

After an exciting first ride with both the Young Eagle, who’s also a Cub Scout, and his mother, Pilot John Signorino poses alongside the Cessna 182 Skylane with the happy pair.

After completing a flight, Pilot Tomas Peralta gets ready to make out a Young Eagle Flight Certificate for this young man and his mother.

EAA Chapter 555 President, Wes Baker, an Air Force Academy graduate, gets ready to take this Young Eagle into the sky in his vintage Cessna 140.

                After the successful flight, Wes completes this Young Eagle’s paperwork, as Wes’ wife, Carol, looks on.

Volunteer Pilot, John Signorino, walks out to the McNamee Cessna 182 Skylane with his next Young Eagle, whose mother also took the flight.

During another much-deserved break from the busy flight schedule, Pilot Mike Robinson (L) sits down to chat with fellow volunteer pilot, Wes Baker, on the Right.

Almost the end of the busy day of over 60 flights, the volunteer pilots were caught discussing the event. L to R: Dominic Austen (Pilot who conducted the Preflight Program), Tomas Peralta, John Signorino, Deb Rothchild, and Bryce Daniels.

 

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!

 

FASF’s Villezcas, Takes First CAP Training Flight Successfully

CAP Cessna 182 Slylane (L) opposite USAF Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcon.

FASF Treasurer, and native of Casas Grandes, Mexico, America’s first foreign air base (in 1916), Alma Villezcas, took to the sky for her first SAREX (Search And Rescue Exercise) this past weekend out of the Las Cruces, NM Municipal Airport Civil Air Patrol (CAP) facilities.

Ms. Villezcas joined the Las Cruces CAP Squadron 24 a year ago with the intention of learning to fly with the CAP, which is a full-fledged Auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF) – (see Air Force photo above with the two USAF Aircraft: A CAP Cessna and F-16 Jet Fighter), which supplies all of the facilities and equipment, including costly modern aircraft, to each Squadron throughout the U.S.  For this reason the CAP uniforms are based upon the USAF’s.

Mission Pilot, Dave Bjorness (L), and Scanner Trainee, Alma Villezcas (R) in the process of conducting their Preflight Inspection of the CAP Cessna Skylane prior to the Mission . . . All photos in this story may be seen in full resolution by simply clicking on them.

The origins of Civil Air Patrol date to 1936, when Gill Robb Wilson, World War I aviator and New Jersey director of aeronautics, returned from Germany convinced of impending war. Wilson envisioned mobilizing America’s civilian aviators for national defense, an idea also shared by other aviation activists.

In Ohio, Milton Knight, a pilot and businessman, organized and incorporated the Civilian Air Reserve (CAR) in 1938. Other military-styled civilian aviation units emerged nationwide and helped train pilots for defense of the homeland.

 In 1941, Wilson launched his perfected program: the Civil Air Defense Services (CADS). That summer, tasked by Fiorello H. LaGuardia (New York mayor and director of the federal Office of Civilian Defense and also a World War I aviator), Wilson, publisher Thomas H. Beck and newspaperman Guy P. Gannett proposed Wilson’s CADS program as a model for organizing the nation’s civilian aviation resources.

Their proposal for a Civil Air Patrol was approved by the Commerce, Navy, and War departments in November, and CAP National Headquarters opened its doors on Dec. 1, 1941, under the direction of national commander Maj. Gen. John F. Curry. Existing CADS, CAR and other flying units soon merged under the CAP banner. Public announcement of CAP and national recruiting commenced on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor..

CAP Personnel in military formation in front of one of their Stinson Patrol Aircraft in 1942.

L to R above: Mission PILOT, Dave Bjorness, Mission Commander and Flight OBSERVER, William Benzinger, and Alma Villezcas, Mission SCANNER Trainee, briefing about their tasks and esponsibilities before their Mission.

Above, Ground Team Personnel, Mike Legendre, (L) briefing Communications Officer, Joe Parea, at right. Each mission, whether a practice exercise operation, or a genuine emergency mission, requires numerous ground based personnel working closely with, and in constant radio communication with the CAP aircraft “eyes in the sky.”

Above, Alma readies for the Mission, which will entail scanning for a downed aircraft and taking hi-resolution color photographs of it and the surrounding terrain for ground rescue agencies’ guidance.

Above, Alma checks out her Intercom equipment, as flight crew readies for engine startup.  She has already opened the side window’s Camera Port.  The High Resolution Professional Digital Camera must shoot all photos through this open window so that no window reflections nor glare interfere with the photo’s high quality.

The aircraft has started its engine and begins to taxi out for take off. The CAP Squadron’s main hangar is in the background above.

Alma and her crew returned safely from their successful 2 hour long SAR Mission Exercise, having finally located the simulated downed aircraft and also it’s ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) radio signal.

The following 7 minute video gives a moving glimpse into what Alma experienced during her very first CAP Training flight.

 

FAS Editor, July McClure, Gets CFD & FASF Awards for Service

 Capt. July McClure

Chief Andres Ramos

Long time Editor of the First Aero’s Aerodrome Newsletter, July McClure, (at left) made two home runs yesterday at the Columbus Fire Department’s Annual Open House event.  The two awards caught July by complete surprise, which made the recognition that much more special.  Fire Chief, Andres Ramos (at right), presented July with a special award in appreciation of her continuous thirty-three (33!) years of volunteer service with the Fire Department and community of Columbus, New Mexico. July is a Captain in the Columbus Fire Department.

The Fire Department facilities are just West of the  historic 1916 First Aero Squadron Airfield.

Next it was the FASF’s turn, as this writer had the honor and privilege of presenting July with a special FASF Recognition (for volunteer service) Certificate of Appreciation for her years of work as both the Editor-in-Chief of the Aerodrome Newsletter, and for her role as official Recorder of Board of Trustee Meetings, not to mention her hours of work at various public events helping the FASF staff its exhibition booths.   July is a woman of diverse talents, one with which Columbus has been blessed for well over thirty-five years. 

Born in Washington, DC, of parents who were both professional musicians, and whose Dad, Jimmy,  was also a US Naval Aviator, she was then was raised in Colorado, where she went on to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology.  But the call of entertainment was too strong, and she quickly joined a cross-country touring orchestra as both an instrumentalist and vocalist, which included a gig in a West Coast radio comedy show. 

When she later married, and moved to Columbus, her profession changed to that of a Journalist, where she ended up  working as a full time staff reporter for both the Deming Headlight Newspaper and the Desert Winds Magazine. 

However, Ms. McClure never lost either her interest in acting – or music – continuing her second career as an actor, appearing at least once almost every year in various theatrical productions.  July also owns the esteemed Tumbleweed Theater in downtown Columbus, and regularly performs as a musician across SW New Mexico, most often as a member of the Spring Canyon band, which features Dev Olliver of Columbus and Paul Smith of Deming..

She often joins up with other local entertainers such as Bud and Jeane Canfield  (Bud is one of the First Aero Advisors) and Deborah  (“Dev”) Olliver, who’s photos of July from yesterday appear below.  Dev, herself, is in another of yesterday’s photos, seen chatting with Columbus’ new Mayor, Bruce D’Salas.  July has also served a number of times as an elected member of the Columbus City Council and consistently remains active in area politics.  The following photos depict yesterday’s Open House Events at the Columbus Fire Station facilities.    

HTo see any photos in full HD resolution, simply click on them H

                                   July, as left, opens her FASF Achievement Award as Ric Lambart looks on.

FASF Award for Oustanding Echievement given  July McClure at Columbus Public Event on May 5, 2018

                                      Ric reads the Award’s Inscription to the audience as July looks on.

L to R above: Captain July McClure, trying to read the Fire Department’s Award Inscription as Former Fire Chief, Pablo Montoya, looks on and Presenter, Fire Chief Andres Ramos, reads the Award’s text to the crowd.

                                           Captain McClure proudly shows the Award to the audience.

The Emergency Air Ambulance Helicopter landed on the City Baseball Field across from the Fire Station so the public could tour it up close.

View of one of entrances to the Fire Station – Below the Blue Canopy seen through the doorway, is where some of the volunteer Fire Fighters worked over the grill to prepare the event’s barbeque main course.

View of some of the many pies and cakes prepared by the public, which were auctioned off to the highest bidders as a way to raise money for the Fire Fighters.

The Emergency Native Air Ambulance flight Crew enjoys the event’s food: At left is Teresa Nystrom, Flight Paramedic; center is Billi McNary, Flight Nurse, and the Helicopter’s Pilot, Manny Garcia, is at right.  Their Air Ambulance Helicopter is stationed at the Deming Airport.  Their presence at the Volunteer festivities was courtesy of NATIVE AIR AMBULANCE, an AIR METHODS COMPANY.

Part of the crowd of visitors.

More of the guests enjoy their meals.

Additional visitors arrive and search for dining table space.

L to R: New Columbus Mayor, Bruce D’Salas chats with FASF Photographer, Dev Olliver.

L to R above: Chief Ramos watches as Battalian Chief, Walter Simpson (who also received a Service Award), cuts into the Fire Department Cake, and Captain McClure and Assistant Fire Chief, Pablo Montoya, also look on.

 

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.