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Tar River Comp Squadron hosts Communications and UDF training

Cadets use CAP grid system
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C/CMSgt Stephen Langley and C/A1C Eathan Knighton using the grid system to find the location of Rocky Mount - Wilson Regional Airport on map of North Carolina. PHOTO CREDIT: 2d Lt Liz Dunster, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Goldsboro Comp Squadron joins in on training

9/18/2016––Seven cadets and six senior members from the Tar River and Goldsboro Composite Squadrons participated in a day of communications and UDF training at the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport on 17 September 2016. Maj Tony Overman and Capt Patti Overman from the Goldsboro Composite Squadron drove over to teach the classes, bringing with them two Goldsboro cadets.  

The communications training ran from 0900-1200 and took place in the squadron building. The class consisted of a number of CAP training videos, which Maj Overman used to engage group discussion. He pointed out that the value of radio communications was evident during the last hurricane, as CAP HF radios were some of the only communications available between this area and HQ in Burlington since the telephone lines were down. He described it as, “the long haul radio - you can talk across state or country.” On the other hand, the VHF/FM radio system is used for short distance or line of sight.
The class was interested to see the different types of radios Civil Air Patrol uses for its communications. For some, it was the first time seeing these types of radios. C/A1C Justin Newcomb described it as, “a great learning experience,” and said, “I really enjoyed learning how radios work. I’ve never learned before except pressing a little talk button on a walkie-talkie.”
The class broke for lunch at 1200 and enjoyed pizza to recharge their own batteries. On resuming, Capt Russ went off to hide the training beacon. Unfortunately it was discovered that the beacon was not emitting a signal, so emergency repairs were undertaken.
Meanwhile, Maj Overman took the class outside to learn how to conduct the inspection of the CAP van that has to be performed before the van is driven. This includes checking fluid levels, damage to tires, etc. and recording those findings on CAPF 73.
Capt Overman called the group into the classroom and talked through conducting an airport search and the use of the CAP grid system, which she described as a rudimentary grid system.  As practice, the group learned how to locate our airport on a map of North Carolina using the CAP grid system.
Maj Overman succeeded in persuading the uncooperative beacon to emit its signal again and the group returned to the sunny outdoors in search of it. Cadets and senior members spent the afternoon taking turns learning to use the L-Per to locate the beacon, and also learned how to shoot an azimuth with a compass. The search began in the airport parking lot, then everyone hopped into the van and drove to various locations close by, getting directions by using the L-per and compass, until the beacon was located on the side of a road.
A great day was had by all. C/CMSgt Stephen Langley said that he, “enjoyed learning to find beacons and how to use radios,” and went on to describe it as, “a great experience and well put together.” C/A1C Eathan Knighton was most excited by learning how to shoot an azimuth. C/Amn Aiden Peditto, “learn(ed) valuable things in the classroom,” but would have preferred a longer search for the practice beacon! Overall, he described it as a, “great experience.”  C/SMSgt Richard Green, who was back for a refresher with the class, described it as interesting and was glad to have done it again.
Capt Patti Overman said that, “it’s always a pleasure training young minds to participate in search and rescue missions. Having the cadets in training keeps them engaged in valuable activities. These cadets are learning how to look for missing persons and will actually participate in real world missions with this training.“ 
Capt Blake Sauls described it as, “a wonderful day having the Goldsboro Composite Squadron pay us a visit to do some training.” He went on to say, “I love seeing our squadron work alongside other squadrons to accomplish the same goal. I look forward to learning more about ICUT and UDF in the near future.” Capt Eric Russ said, “I am very appreciative of Maj Overman and Capt Overman taking time out to come and give us some very interesting and fun training. It is always nice to work with the Goldsboro Composite Squadron.”
The Tar River Composite Squadron meets on Thursdays from 7-9 PM at the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport.