About 100 guests attended the Civil Air Patrol Carroll Composite Squadron open house held March 4 at its meeting place, the Hilltop Assembly of God church hall in Westminster.
The evening began with a short program that included a presentation by Cadet 1st Lt. Olivia Persing on "How CAP works for a cadet." The squadron commander, Lt. Col. Frank Jarosinski, welcomed everyone and took note of the presence of three Carroll County commissioners. A representative of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski honored the squadron with a certificate of recognition from the senator.
Jarosinski presented the commissioners and the senator's representative with a commemorative squadron cap and command coin in appreciation of their support.
The wing administrator, Maj. Sherry McManus, and Towson Squadron commander, Capt. Stacey McManus, also attended the event.
During the squadron formation, two cadets received acknowledgement. Cadet Blair Barao was promoted from senior master sergeant to chief master sergeant. Barao serves as the cadet noncommissioned officer for safety and public affairs. Cadet 2nd Lt. Aaron Scanlan received the General Billy Mitchell Award. Scanlan, a member of the 2013 award-winning Carroll Color Guard, serves as the cadet flight commander for Tango squadron and as a member of the squadron public affairs team.
The open house provided the Carroll squadron with the opportunity to showcase CAP programs and services and provide hands-on exhibits for visitors. These exhibits highlighted the effectiveness of squadron collaboration and encouraged a heightened public interest in CAP.
Exhibits included presentations by: communications officer, 2nd Lt. Bryan Woryk; pilot, Capt. Dave Alexander; emergency services officers, Capt. Cole Brown and 2nd Lt. Rick Stuart; safety officer, Capt. Joseph Manning; aerospace instructor, 1st Lt. Daniel Levin and Senior Member Henry Enders; and recruitment officer, 1st Lt. James Kellogg.
Open house attendees also were treated to a presentation by the squadron's Drug Demand Reduction officer, 1st Lt. Steven Yerger, and his partner Kilo, a German shepherd trained in searching for and locating narcotics.
The Carroll squadron commander expressed his appreciation to the squadron, and all who attended the event. "The Civil Air Patrol is comprised of citizens serving their communities above and beyond. Strong leadership skills, aerospace training, physical fitness, character development and emergency services are all part of our mission. However, we cannot accomplish our mission without community support," said Jarosinski. "Regardless of where one lives, there is a CAP squadron near that needs both senior and cadet volunteers. We hope that those who attended the open house will spread the word and help us grow to better serve our community and our nation."
Visitors milled through the various exhibits, and interacted with cadets and senior members, and many expressed a newfound understanding of what CAP is all about.
"It is only because of the dedication and support of each and every Carroll Composite Squadron member that this event was such a tremendous success. We all enjoyed the opportunity to 'tell our story,'" said 1st Lt. Alice Raatjes, squadron public affairs officer.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. In its Air Force auxiliary role, CAP performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search-and-rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the center with saving an average of 71 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs.
The Carroll Composite Squadron meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Hilltop Assembly of God church hall, 30 N. Cranberry Road, Westminster. Prospective cadets, ages 12 to 18, and their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking mentoring opportunities are invited as well. For more information, email email@example.com, visit http://www.carrollcap.org or follow the squadron on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/capcarrollcomposite.