ABOVE: Cadet Cortes from the Orlando Cadet Squadron meets Astronaut Charlie Bolden at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex before the NASA Air Show practice on November 7, 2008.
The Civil Air Patrol has been in the Orlando area working through the efforts of volunteers for over 50 years.
It works both with adults as instructors and mentors, and with young men and women who have a thirst for aviation, science, and/or space.
The United States Air Force supports the CAP as its Congressionally mandated Auxiliary.
Here are some of this year’s Cadets and what they are experiencing in the Orlando Cadet Squadron.
ABOVE: Members of the Civil Air Patrol, from the Florida Wing and the Orlando Cadet Squadron, visit the Kennedy Space Center.
ABOVE: This is the Bravo Flight of the Orlando Cadet Squadron just before they took their first flight on an Air Force C-130 belonging to the 920th Rescue Squadron out of Patrick Air Force Base. All 18 Cadets were given a flight over the restricted airspace of the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Station for almost an hour. This is part of the Air Force’s outreach to the Auxiliary and especially the cadets who can learn so much about our armed forces in particular and aviation in general. The 920th Rescue Squadron is the Air force Squadron which is responsible for rescuing any Astronauts from an accident during the launch of the Space Shuttle.
ABOVE: Retired Chief Master Sergeant Richard Ortega is inducted into the Orlando Cadet Squadron as an Honorary Member. After a combined 29 years serving the United States in the Army and the Air Force, the Chief now uses his time as an Air Force Association (AFA) VP helping to inspire a hunger for Aerospace and Aviation in our local Orlando area youth organization.
Lt. Col. Richard Ortega, aerospace education officer for the Orlando Cadet Squadron, congratulates (from left) Cadet Maj. Trung Tran, Cadet 2nd Lt. Michael Garavuso, Cadet Master Sgt. Sean Erickson, Cadet Airman 1st Class Eva Erickson and Cadet Airman Basic Paul Ortiz for their outstanding performance working with 10-to 15-year-olds at the Orlando Youth Aviation Center during a model airplane construction class
FLORIDA – Orlando Cadet Squadron members helped out when the Orlando Youth Aviation Center held a model airplane construction class Jan. 29 for 10- to 15-year-olds taking Orange County’s “Introduction to Aviation” Course.
Five Orlando squadron cadets – Cadet Maj. Trung Tran, Cadet 2nd Lt. Michael Garavuso, Cadet Master Sgt. Sean Erickson, Cadet Airman 1st Class Eva Erickson and Cadet Airman Basic Paul Ortiz – and the unit’s aerospace education officer, Lt. Col. Richard Ortega, provided mentoring and assistance during the class.
Before use of the special tools required for the session, certified instructors from the center and trained cadets took time to teach the students the safe and proper use of the instruments involved. The cadets demonstrated outstanding leadership skills while teaching the students safety requirements and correct methods to avoid property damage or personal injury.
Ortega, who is the Air Force Association’s Florida Region vice president for aerospace education as well as a Civil Air Patrol member, explained the mutual aerospace education missions of both organizations to the students. He placed special emphasis on encouraging and motivating the students and cadets to achieve academic excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – the so-called STEM subjects – and to consider a STEM-related career.
Ortega also explained educational requirements for qualified candidates to gain admission to the U.S. Air Force Academy and to Air Force ROTC detachments.
The center partnered with CAP and the AFA to conduct classes ranging from Basics of Flight and Control Systems to Cross Country Flight Planning. After satisfactory completion of all classes, the students earned graduation airplane flights that took them from Orange County to Lake Osceola and back.