Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol

Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol
Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol
Associated Branches
United States Air Force
Executive Staff
Commander Col Cassandra Huchko
Vice Commander Lt Col Matthew J Valleau (Interim)
Current Statistics
Squadrons 12
Cadets 355
Seniors 361
Total Membership 716
Statistics as of 16 November 2011[1]
v · Civil Air Patrol in the state of Connecticut. Headquartered in Beers Hall at the Connecticut Valley Hospital campus in Middletown, Connecticut, the Connecticut Wing (CTWG) has 12 primary subordinate units located throughout the state to help it carry out its missions. The missions include providing aerospace education and training for all of its members, teaching leadership skills to Connecticut youth, and performing various domestic emergency services for the United States of America in a noncombatant capacity.

Members were notably instrumental in major events during the Wing's 66-year history, carrying out operations in World War II, 9/11, and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The Wing has received numerous awards and recognitions, including unit citations from the Northeast Region Headquarters and National Headquarters, as well as government recognition by local, state and federal officials. Several individual members, including most cadet officers, are recognized by the Connecticut General Assembly upon receiving their promotions. Governor M. Jodi Rell declared December 1, 2007, Civil Air Patrol Day in the State of Connecticut, in recognition of the continuing efforts of the Wing and held as an anniversary to the Wing's creation on December 1, 1941. The Wing currently has more than 700 members.



During World War II, Connecticut Wing was heavily involved in coastal patrol and anti-submarine missions along its section of the Atlantic coast. For this, it received two air medals from the U.S. government. Connecticut Wing also flew recovery operations to rescue American pilots who had lost their aircraft domestically. One of the Sikorsky S-39 Flying Boats used for recovery operations is now on display at the New England Air Museumat Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.[2]

Among the other missions that Connecticut Wing currently performs is the Long Island Sound Patrol (LISP) program. LISP flies patrol missions across Long Island Sound during the summer months in coordination with the United States Coast Guard to provide more immediate assistance to vessels in distress. The Wing was credited with numerous finds and saves in the year following its inception in summer 2007, and plans are in effect to continue the program.[3]

Current command structure

The Sikorsky S-39 Flying Boat flown by Connecticut to rescue downed pilots of subchasers during World War II, now a museum exhibit

As of March 2011, the wing commander of the CTWG is Col Cassandra Huchko. The interim vice commander position is held by Lt Col Matthew Valleau. The chief of staff is Lt Col Tony Vallillo.[4] The vice commander (Marteka) is responsible for coordinating the wing echelon with the subordinate units, specifically the squadrons. The vice commander (Valleau) is also an assistant of the wing commander, serving as the coordinator of various special projects. The chief of staff is responsible for the staff members located at wing headquarters, who are independent of the individual squadrons. Finally, the wing commander (Jensen) is responsible for connecting the two groups and ensuring that the chief of staff (Huchko) uses the wing staff members to benefit the squadrons who receive these benefits through the vice commander.[5]

Most of the wing-level staff positions fit into various departments led by directors. For example, Emergency Services Officer (DOS) and Ground Training Officer (GO) fit into the Operations Department, led by the Director of Operations (DO).[6] Other positions are not in departments, such as the Finance Officer (FM) and Safety Officer (SE).[7]

Wing staff members meet at the headquarters building, Beers Hall, on the Connecticut Valley Hospital campus in Middletown, Connecticut. They also attend monthly "staff call" meetings to improve internal communication.[8]


All 12 of Connecticut's squadrons report directly to Wing Headquarters. There are also three non-standard squadrons (000, 001, and 999) under Wing HQ, and there are liaisons with units in other branches of the armed forces, including the AFROTC at the University of Connecticut, which partners with Civil Air Patrol (CAP).[9]

N9573X, one of Connecticut Wing's Cessna 182 aircraft
Squadrons of the Connecticut Wing[9]
Designation Squadron Name Location
CT-000 Inactive Squadron No specific location
CT-001 Wing Headquarters Staff Squadron Middletown
CT-004 103rd Composite Squadron[1] East Granby
CT-011 143rd Composite Squadron[2] Waterbury
CT-014 Silver City Cadet Squadron[3] Meriden
CT-022 Stratford Eagles Composite Squadron[4] Stratford
CT-027 169th Composite Squadron[5] Manchester
CT-042 399th Composite Squadron[6] Danbury
CT-058 186th Composite Squadron[7] Southington
CT-062 Northwest Hills Composite Squadron[8] Torrington
CT-071 Royal Charter Composite Squadron[9] Hartford
CT-073 Minuteman Composite Squadron[10] East Haven
CT-074 Danielson Cadet Squadron[11] Danielson
CT-075 Thames River Composite Squadron[12] Groton
CT-999 Legislative Senior Squadron No specific location
none USAF Reserve Officer Training Corps Det. 115 Storrs


Col Peter Jensen began a history restoration project in 2007 in an effort to uncover as much about Connecticut Wing's history as possible. Photographs were found of all of the previous Wing commanders, and were restored by Wing staff members.[10] Notable commanders of the Connecticut Wing include Col Tier (née Hopkins), who was the niece of Lady Astor and the Civil Air Patrol's first female wing commander. Col Frost was slated to be the next Northeast Region commander after he relinquished command of the Wing, but he died before assuming command. Col Howard Palmer during his term as Wing commander established activities for the cadet membership, and the Col Howard E. Palmer Memorial Cadet Ball is conducted annually in his honor by the Connecticut Wing Cadet Advisory Council.

Commander's Name Period of Service Current Status
Lt Col Thomas H Lockhart 1941–1944 Died in 1992
Lt Col William T Gilbert 1944–1946 Died in 1965
Col Charles B Shutter 1946–1947, 1949–1953 Died in 1953
Col Nancy Tier 1947–1949 Died in 1997
Col Robert A Frost 1953–1957 Died in 1957
Col Raymond E Drouin 1957 Died in 1957
Col James F Kavanagh 1958–1963 Unknown
Col Clinton G Litchfield 1963–1971 Died in 1978
Col Joseph B Witkin 1971–1977 Died in 2002
Col Kenneth D Faust 1977–1982 Died in 2007
Col Howard E Palmer 1982–1993 Died in 1995
Col Lloyd E Sturges 1993–1997 Wing Director of Operations
Col Frederick Herbert 1997–1999 Wing Government Relations Advisor
Col Karen K Hansen 1999–2003 Retired from CAP
Col James E Palmer 2003–2006 Wing Advisor to the wing commander
Col Peter K Jensen 2006–2009 Retired from CAP
Col Cassandra Huchko 2010–current Wing Commander

Icons and symbols

The most prominent icon representing the wing is the Connecticut Wing's patch, with an ultramarine blue background and bearing the image of its mascot, Connie the Search and Rescue Dog. The wing patch was required to be worn on the left sleeve of the battle dress uniform until 2006 when National Headquarters made it optional.[11] Each squadron also has a distinctive patch. A 2007 issue of the Civil Air Patrol Volunteer magazine featured an image of all of Connecticut Wing's squadron patches surrounding the Wing patch.[12] High-resolution images of the patches are also being taken as part of the history project undertaken by Col Jensen.

Connecticut Wing is also symbolized by the name "Charter Oak", which precedes all CTWG radio callsigns. Since Connecticut is in the Northeast region, it also uses callsigns that start with "CAP Stone", the Northeast region prefix.[13]

Cadet activities

CAP cadets visit other Wings each year across the country to partake in National Cadet Special Activities, such as the National Flight Academy – Glider Track

The largest cadet activity held by the Wing is the annual Summer Encampment. The 2008 Encampment, which will be held at the Norwich Academy in Vermont, is the first encampment not held in Niantic, Connecticut, for a decade, as reported in the CAP Encampment Reports. The Encampment is being held jointly with New Hampshire and Vermont Wings. There is also an Encampment, Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Leadership School and Honor Guard Academy, all of which are being held at Otis Air Force Base.[14] The Connecticut Wing liaison for these multi-Wing encampments is Lt Col Andrew Marteka.

Lt Col Marteka also runs the application process as per national regulations for the National Cadet Special Activities in the Civil Air Patrol.[15]

Connecticut Wing was featured in the March 2007 edition of Civil Air Patrol Volunteer magazine for an event held at Hartford-Brainard Airport in Hartford, Connecticut, in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police, which provided volunteers side-by-side training with search-and-rescue dogs.[16] Connecticut Wing cadets are currently involved in a competition between squadrons in the field of model rocketry. The final competition is to be held in June 2008 in conjunction with CATO Rocketry Club, the local chapter of the National Association of Rocketry.[17]

The Wing's Cadet Advisory Council also hosts the annual Col Howard E Palmer Cadet Ball in recognition of the longest-serving Wing commander. The event is held during the fall season each year and is intended as an informal social gathering to promote inter-squadron cooperation. Nearly one half of the Wing's cadets attended the 2007 Cadet Ball, with an estimated 139 in attendance.[18]

Additionally, the Connecticut Wing holds an annual conference in Cromwell, Connecticut during April. This time is used to allow the Wing commander to address the entire Wing, for guest speakers to give keynote speeches, and for the annual awards to be presented to their recipients. Several competitions for the cadets occur at each conference, including a military drill and ceremonies competition and a public speaking competition. Col Mary Feik, after whom one of CAP's cadet awards is named in honor of her work in women's rights in aviation, was the keynote speaker at the 2007 conference. It is also common to have government representatives attend, including members of the state legislature.[19] There are currently plans to combine the Wing conference and Cadet Ball into one event, to be held at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, and to move the combined event to September.

Recognition and accomplishments

Governor Jodi Rell proclaimed December 1, 2007 as Civil Air Patrol Day in Connecticut. The proclamation is presented to Col Peter Jensen while Government Relations Advisor Lt Col Kevin DelGobbo looks on.

The CAP National History project and National Museum most recognize CTWG for their involvement in coastal patrol missions during World War II, shortly after the creation of CAP. Since CAP was created in a time of crisis, when Brigadier General Billy Mitchell was warning the country of impending attack and less than a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,[20] coastal patrol and submarine searching became the prime missions of CAP.[21]

In the New England Air Museum, located at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, a Sikorsky S-39 Flying Boat can be found that was used during World War II for rescuing pilots of subchasers that had gone down. A local artist painted an oil painting of the aircraft, now prominently displayed next to it in the exhibit. Photos of the exhibit, the unveiling ceremony, and the oil painting can be found at the Wing Headquarters building.[2]

The first two Air Medals presented by the president of the United States to the Civil Air Patrol went to Hugh Sharp and Eddie Edwards, who were both rescued in the S-39. This successful program, which spotted 173 German U-Boats, dropped 57 depth charges, hit 10 of the U-Boats, and sank two of them,[22] was inevitably discontinued after the end of the second World War. Many of the planes used specifically for this program are now parts of exhibits, replaced by new aircraft that are more suited to teaching young students to fly and performing search and rescue, the current missions of the Civil Air Patrol. Currently, CTWG has two Cessna 172s, two Cessna 182s and one Cessna 182T with Garmin G1000 Glass cockpit. Connecticut Wing has the highest number of hours flown per aircraft of any state in the North East Region, and ranks high on a national scale.[23]

The membership of the CTWG grew from 500 to 600 total active members during the 2007 fiscal year, making the largest percent increase of any wing in CAP for that year, as was announced at the April 2007 Wing Conference in Cromwell, Connecticut.[24]

See also


  1. ^ "eServices, National Headquarters". Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Local CAP History". National Museum of the Civil Air Patrol. 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  3. ^ Tucker, Audrey (2007-09-05). "September Commander's Call Meeting Minutes" (PDF). Connecticut Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  4. ^ Yount, Donna (2011-03-21). "Connecticut Wing HQ Website". Connecticut Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  5. ^ Parker, Susie (2000-05-29). "CAPR20-1, Organization of the Civil Air Patrol" (PDF). National Headquarters, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  6. ^ Romano, Brian; A. Tucker (2007-08-29). "Operations". Connecticut Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  7. ^ Romano, Brian; A. Tucker (2007-08-29). "Squadron Links". Connecticut Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  8. ^ Romano, Brian; A. Tucker (2007-08-10). "Wing Meeting Minutes". Connecticut Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  9. ^ a b Romano, Brian; A. Tucker (2007-08-29). "Wing Meeting Minutes". Connecticut Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  10. ^ Harris, Peter (September 3, 2007). "Commanders of the Connecticut Wing". Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved February 4, 2008. 
  11. ^ Pineda, Antonio (2006-03-15). "Change to CAPM 39-1, CAP Uniform Manual" (PDF). US Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  12. ^ Probst, Neil and Wright, Kimberly (May–June 2007). "Time Capsule bridges CAP's Past, Present and Future" (PDF). Civil Air Patrol Volunteer: 18. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  13. ^ Anderson, Lt Col Amanda B. (2007-03-12). "CAP SPEAK - A Glossary Of Terms Used By Civil Air Patrol Members" (PDF). Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  14. ^ Skrabut, Stan. "Northeast Region, Civil Air Patrol". Northeast Region HQ. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  15. ^ Courter, Amy (2007-10-16). "National Cadet Special Activities" (PDF). National Headquarters, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  16. ^ Probst, Neil and Trujillo, Robin (March–April 2007). "Connecticut Members Enjoy "Dogging It" During Demonstration" (PDF). Civil Air Patrol Volunteer: 54. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  17. ^ Parker, Susie. "Model Rocketry". US Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  18. ^ Huchko, Cassandra (2007-10-19). "October 2007 Staff Call Meeting Minutes" (PDF). US Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  19. ^ Tucker, Audrey (2007-05-03). "April 2007 Commanders Call Meeting Minutes" (PDF). US Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  20. ^ "Billy Mitchell". United States Air University, Aerospace Power Journal. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  21. ^ Blascovich, Leonard (2002-03-02). "CAP Coastal Patrol: 60 Years". National Headquarters Historian. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  22. ^ "CAP History". National Headquarters, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  23. ^ Tuckey, Audrey (2007-09-05). "September Commander's Call Meeting Minutes" (PDF). Connecticut Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  24. ^ Huchko, Cassandra (2007). "Combined Commander's Call and Staff Call December Meeting Minutes" (PDF). US Civil Air Patrol. 

Further reading

  • Burnham, Frank A (1974). Hero Next Door: Story of the Civilian Volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers. ISBN 0816864500. 
  • Colby, C B (1958). This is Your Civil Air Patrol: the Purpose, Cadet Program, and Equipment of the U. S. Air Force Auxiliary. New York: Coward-McCann. OCLC 1579198. 
  • Gonzales, Lissette (2008). "The Civil Air Patrol". Search and Rescue Specialists. New York: PowerKids Press. ISBN 1404237798. 
  • Hanes, Richard Clay; Hanes, Sharon M; McNeill, Allison (2005). "Civil Defense". American Home Front in World War II. Detroit: UXL. ISBN 0787676519. 
  • Neprud, Robert E (1948). Flying Minute Men: The Story of the Civil Air Patrol. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce. OCLC 401797. 
  • Steketee, Drew (2006). Civil Air Patrol: Missions for America - for 65 Years. Paducah: Turner Publishing. ISBN 1-59652-191-0. 

External links

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