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CAP Leaders attend national Congress for Aviation and Space Education

Staff reports

Three local youth leaders visited the National Congress for Aviation and Space Education in San Diego, Calif.

Keri Callison, Dennis Rosenberg and Gary B. Swift spent three days attending seminars and workshops at the 33rd annual event. All are active members of the Douglas County Civil Air Patrol (CAP) squadron, and all brought back some interesting youth-oriented activities for the local Cadets.

A former CAP cadet herself, Second Lieutenant Callison is co-owner of the Uniformity uniform shop in Minden. She is also the Deputy Commander for Cadets of the Douglas County Squadron.

Captain Rosenberg is a 7th grade science teacher at Carson Middle School.

“I’ll use several of the new aerospace activities we picked up in San Diego with my own science students,” he said. As deputy commander, he is second in command of the Squadron.

Second Lieutenant Swift works in the technical training department at Bently Nevada. He serves as aerospace education officer for Douglas County cadets.

The three met teachers from across the country and enjoyed motivational talks by several noteworthy people. These included Homer Hickam Jr., author of “Rocket Boys,” which became the motion picture, “October Sky.”

Army Astronaut Lt. Col. Doug Wheelock gave a stirring presentation on the importance of educators, and how important his own fourth grade teacher had been in his own life.

The speakers and workshop presenters were focused toward educators at all grade levels, covering concepts and activities appropriate for students in kindergarten all the way up to some that were challenging for adults.

One of the CAP’s three main missions is aerospace education, which is why the organization has sponsored this event for 33 years.

“We actually represent the three missions of the CAP pretty well,” said Swift. “Keri Callison exemplifies the youth programs mission by leading the cadet squadron, and Dennis Rosenberg represents the emergency services (search and rescue) mission in his role as emergency services officer.”

Swift’s own work with cadets falls into the CAP’s aerospace education mission.

The Douglas County Composite Squadron is just under two years old and has received high marks in the Nevada Wing. The squadron, which is based at the Minden-Tahoe Airport, is now certified as a search and rescue (SAR) base.

“This means we could be tasked at any time with searching for a missing aircraft, hiker or group of lost campers,” explained Rosenberg.”

While adult members of the squadron concentrate mainly on the CAP’s SAR mission, cadets are exposed to a wide variety of activities. These include orientation flights in gliders and power planes, marching in parades, color guard competition, and “training encampments.”

Callison and Rosenberg will be leading a week-long Nevada Wing CAP training encampment at Stead AFB later this summer. Cadets who attend will receive an intensive introduction to military drill, ceremonies, and history.

For more information on the Civil Air Patrol, contact Keri Callison at 783-9191, Dennis Rosenberg at 265-6679, or Gary B. Swift at 265-5877.

Photo by Ellen Rosenberg, 1LT, CAP: (from left to right: Gary B. Swift, Keri Callison, Dennis Rosenberg)