12:09 PM

CAP Officers Hone Leadership Skills at National Staff College

Sixty-two rising Civil Air Patrol officers will be honing their skills for executive-level success at the 2019 National Staff College today through May 2  at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama — home of CAP National Headquarters as well as U.S. Air Force officer developmental education.

The annual professional development opportunity enhances the leadership abilities of members who are, or will be, assuming positions of wing, regional or national importance within CAP. The NSC training includes seminar discussions, case studies and exercises.

“We’re really excited about this year’s class,” said Col. Lisa Robinson, NSC director. “We have a diverse group of CAP leaders here from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii to learn from the experts.”

The 62 students in this year’s class represent 31 CAP wings, a National Headquarters squadron and three CAP region headquarters. They range in age from 26-77.

The students will focus on executive leadership, management, organizational behavior and policy formulation while examining CAP’s national-level operations firsthand.

“Many of our students are commanders or on wing staff, already contributing to CAP’s leadership,” Robinson said. “Those members are here to refine their leadership skills.”

The seven-day course benefits class participants beyond their CAP roles. The leadership, communication and executive management skills, made available through the course at a fraction of what such classes at various schools and universities would cost, are in high demand by employers in all industries.

Special guest for this year will be Air Force Lt. Col. Jason M. Trew, a former Civil Air Patrol cadet now in command of the 30th Student Squadron, Squadron Officer School, at Maxwell. Trew will speak at the graduation banquet May 1.

Instructors are drawn from the U.S. Air Force’s Air University, from senior CAP leadership and other sources of leadership expertise. This year’s speakers include:

  • Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. George Harrison, 2019 NSC provost.
  • Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP national commander and CEO.
  • Brig. Gen. Ed Phelka, CAP national vice commander.
  • Col. Mark A. Wootan, CAP-USAF commander.
  • Retired U.S. Army Col. Jayson Altieri, former chair of CAP’s Board of Governors.
  • Col. Barry Melton, Southeast Region commander.
  • John Salvador, CAP’s chief operating officer.
  • John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations.
  • Retired Air Force Col. George C. Vogt, CAP’s chief of safety.
  • John Swain, director, CAP government relations.

Smith said professional development activities like National Staff College are instrumental in CAP’s continuing success as the Air Force auxiliary and as a premier public service organization.

“National Staff College helps our adult officers polish their leadership skills and add to their experience base,” he said. “By taking advantage of such opportunities, they become better leaders in CAP and in their communities.”

The training is a requirement for earning the Gill Robb Wilson Award, CAP’s highest professional development achievement. Because of the graduate-level design of NSC, as well as its focus on national-level operations, attendance is usually restricted to members who hold the grade of major or above and chief and senior master sergeants who have completed CAP’s Region Staff College or its equivalent and have received their wing commanders’ endorsement.

CAP National Headquarters

  • National Radar Analysis Team Squadron – Lt. Col. Mark Young 

Great Lakes Region

  • Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. Daniel Roman 

North Central Region

  • Region Headquarters – Lt. Col. Anna-Marie Bistodeau 

Rocky Mountain Region

  • Region Headquarters – Lt. Cols. Alisha Cope and Maj. Kevin Forbes

Alaska Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Lt. Cols. Derk MacPherson and Kevin A. McClure 

Alabama Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. William D. Reed 
  • Dothan Composite Squadron – Maj. Noah Warren
  • Redstone Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Kim A. Miller 

Arkansas Wing

  • 83rd Composite Squadron – Maj. Patricia J. Schmidt 

Arizona Wing

  • Scottsdale Senior Squadron – Lt. Col. Fairfax O’Riley 

California Wing

  • South Coast Group 7 – Lt. Col. Shairrie Van Duzer)
  • Falcon Senior Squadron 40 – Maj. Jose Tirona
  • Eugene L. Carnahan Cadet Squadron 85 – Lt. Col. Andrew J. Peters 

Florida Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Maj. Eduardo Linares 
  • Group 2 Headquarters – Maj. Deborah Kolos 

Georgia Wing

  • Augusta Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Charles M. Robertson
  • Gwinnett County Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Robert E. Powers 
  • Peachtree City Falcon Field Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Joel Seidband 

Hawaii Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Col. Chantal Lonergan 

Iowa Wing

  • Des Moines Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. David T. Coates 

Illinois Wing

  • Group 3 Headquarters – Lt. Col. Kirk Thirtyacre
  • Chicago Midway Composite Squadron – Maj. Timothy P. Scott 

Massachusetts Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Maj. James Mazzola Sr.
  • Hanscom Composite Squadron -- Maj. Phillip A. Haberlen 

Maryland Wing

  • Group 1 – Maj. John W. Strong 

Maine Wing

  • 78th Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Blain Cote 

Michigan Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Majs. Michael D. Hoekstra and Shawna Hoekstra 
  • South Oakland Cadet Squadron – Maj. Christina L. Watts 

Minnesota Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Lt. Col. William M. Hienz III and Maj. Blane Pierson
  • Alexandria Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Jill J. Holm 
  • St. Croix Composite Squadron – Maj. Megan Schroeder 

Missouri Wing

  • Wing Headquarters – Maj. Michael R. Toedebusch

Nebraska Wing

  • Omaha Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. James T. Brogan III 

Nevada Wing

  • Tahoe Truckee Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Kenneth I. Aronson and Maj. Patrick McDonough
  • Nellis Senior Squadron – Lt. Col. Anthony Gorss 

New Jersey Wing

  • Twin Pine Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Jennifer Rudolph 

Ohio Wing

  • Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Benjamin Kulper
  • Columbus Senior Squadron – Maj. Mark Holtzclaw 


  • Oklahoma City Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. David McCollum 

Oregon Wing

  • Columbia Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Scott Maguire 
  • McMinnville Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Timothy Paquin 

Pennsylvania Wing

  • Jimmy Stewart Composite Squadron 714 – Lt. Col. John Sumrada 
  • Warren County Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Thomas L. Brown

South Carolina Wing

  • Coastal Charleston Composite Squadron – Majs. Steven Hyland and Sammy Williams

South Dakota Wing

  • Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron – Maj. William A. Collister 

Tennessee Wing

  • Knoxville Composite Squadron 1 – Maj. Stephen Lewis 
  • Choo Choo Senior Squadron – Lt. Col. Jeffery Murphy 

Texas Wing

  • El Paso Composite Squadron – Maj. Natalie Franc 
  • Nighthawk Composite Squadron – Maj. L. Mark Hammack 
  • Three Rivers Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Johanna Augustine 

Virginia Wing

  • Winchester Composite Squadron 1 – Lt. Col. Steven Ritter 
  • West Richmond Cadet Squadron – Maj. Todd A. Meyer 

Washington Wing

  • Fort Vancouver Composite Squadron – Maj. James Wiggs 
  • Inter-State Composite Squadron – Lt. Col. Tracy Lee 

Wisconsin Wing

  • Northeast Group – Lt. Col. Robert Koehler 

Wyoming Wing

  • Cheyenne Composite Squadron – Maj. Harlan Ribnik