Connecticut Cadets Capture Wing Rocketry Crown
The Thames River Composite Squadron placed first and the 143rd Composite Squadron took second Oct. 28 in the Connecticut Wing's 15th Commander's Cup Rocketry Contest in Durham.
Contestants from each squadron entered rockets in three categories, each fulfilling one of the requirements to earn the Civil Air Patrol Rocketry Badge. The entries were judged on construction, painting. and decorations based on a selected theme. The cadets then launched their rockets and recover them.
Cadet 2nd Lt. Nicholas Buchko of the Thames River squadron was the only participated to score a perfect 15 points for his model of a rocket that carried an internal load to altitude.
Thames River Cadet Airmen David Nelson and Christopher Regan tied at 12 points each to take honors in the tyro class, restricted to first-time entrants and requiring rockets decorated with a CAP theme.
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Alexander Knets of the Thames River squadron scored 14 points for his model of the U.S. Army Honest John, a missile equivalent to heavy artillery but capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Prizes for the top performances included emergency service equipment, MRE packets, and books about aerospace. Rocket kits were presented to the 143rd Composite cadets, all first-time competitors.
Col. Peter Jensen, then the wing’s commander, donated the Commander's Cup in 2007. The CATO Rocketry Club has provided equipment and support, including the White's Farm launching site, ever since.
The Durham-based club has been recognized with the Frank G. Brewer Sr. Civil Air Patrol Memorial Aerospace Award for its assistance, said Col. Matthew Valleau, Connecticut Wing commander.
Lt. Col. Stephen Rocketto
Public Affairs Officer
Thames River Composite Squadron