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NC Wing Conducts Air Crew Training School

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Three NCWG aircraft participated in weekend training. Photo by: Capt. Rheta Perkins (click image to view full size)
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Tar River Unit Hosts Weekend Training Mission

8/22/2012–– The Aircrew Training School was the brainchild of Lt. Col. Wally Courtney and Capt. Rheta Perkins, both members of the Asheville Composite Squadron; and it became very apparent to those attending that these two had spent a great many hours preparing the course material. The curriculum was set up to include one full day of classroom preparation and another day of in-flight, hands-on familiarization for mission observers and scanners. 

The training facility for the weekend is home base for the Tar River Composite Squadron.
Maj. Chris Bailey, the mission incident commander (IC), said, “Five CAP aircraft were originally committed to the training program, three of which were able to make it to the mission base.” Continuing, Bailey stated that typical summertime weather in North Carolina resulted in widely scattered thunderstorms and rain showers. 
“This school was the first of its kind offered by the NC Wing in quite some time. Generally, observer and scanner courses are offered by our individual units on a more local basis, but some of our smaller squadrons lacked the resources needed to provide more frequent aircrew classes on a regular basis,” Bailey said.
Assisting with mission base functions were the following: Maj. Peter Bohler, Air Operations Branch Director; Maj. Robert Mason, Mission Safety Officer; 1st Lt. Kenneth Currie, Mission Staff Assistant.
NC Wing Commander, Col. David E. Crawford, noted that over time, our mission demands have grown to include more activities now including Homeland Security and Counter Drug assignments. “The wing conducts several Search and Rescue Exercises (SAREXs) every year, but we view the flight crew school as an opportunity to offer basic training for new observers and scanners as well as refresher training for  members already qualified for these tasks,” Crawford said.
Bailey said, “Including mission base staff and students, we had a total of 25 members attending. Lt. Col. Courtney and Capt. Perkins spent all day Saturday providing the classroom topics for those attending, many of whom were seeking their initial qualifying credits. The plan was to spend Saturday fulfilling classroom familiarization and preparation, and then flight activities would be conducted on Sunday. But weather was an even a greater factor on day two.”
First thing Sunday morning local weather services reported wide-spread shower activity and a tornado warning for the area just 50 miles north of the Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport. Cold front passage had brought along severe thunderstorm warnings for much of eastern North Carolina, so flight activities were replaced by advanced indoor course material for observer and scanner trainees that included tabletop exercises using the NC Dept. of Transportation grid maps.
Lt. Col. Courtney stated that those attending were able to have many tasks signed off on their Specialty Qualification Training Requirements (SQTR). 
Bailey added, “We have extended the Aircrew School Training mission thru the beginning of September to allow for those members that attended the school to complete their flight training. We plan to utilize the local squadron mission pilots to help us complete the training flights for these members.
Bailey expressed his thanks to Lt. Col Roy Asbell, commander of the Tar River unit and his staff for hosting the training school.

 Those signed into the mission included:



Bailey, Chris, Maj

Barkley, Linwood, Lt. Col.

Bohler, Peter, Maj

Burggraf, Paul, 2nd Lt.

Clark, Julian, 2nd Lt.

Courtney, Wally, Lt. Col

Currie, Kenneth,  1st Lt.

Faircloth, Frankie.  SM

Freeman, Thomas, SM

Herring. Cliff, 2nd Lt.

Hill, John, SM

Kearney, Mike, 1st Lt.

Leggett Connie, 2nd Lt.

Mack, Dennis, Capt


Martin, Ryan, 2nd Lt.

Mason, Robert, Maj

Meranda, Andrew, 1st Lt.

Overman, Patricia, 2nd Lt.

Overman, Tony,  Capt

Perkins, Rheta, Capt

Smith, James,  2nd Lt.

Tsang, Lipton, 1st Lt.

Vargas, Guillermo, SM

Walker, James, Capt

Wolfe. George, Capt