Maryland Cadets Lead Way as CAP Teams Sweep UAS4STEM Top Beginner Spots
Civil Air Patrol cadets swept the Beginners Division of the Academy of Model Aeronautics' UAS4STEM national drone competition at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, with teams from the Maryland, Alabama, and Tennessee wings taking the top three positions in results announced July 26.
The Maryland Wing's St. Mary's Composite Squadron team finished first, the Alabama Wing's joint entry from the Redstone and Mountain Lakes squadrons placed second, and the Tennessee Wing's Greeneville Composite Squadron cadets came in third.
This year’s national finals consisted of two six-team fields, the Advanced Division and the Beginner Division.
UAS4STEM is the Academy for Model Aeronautics’ Unmanned Aerial Systems for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math program.
The Beginner Division competitors focused on fundamentals of drone programming and flying.
Additional cadets from the Alabama Wing’s Redstone Composite Squadron, which reached the national finals for the third straight year, represented CAP in the Advanced Division.
The Advanced teams competed in developing a mechanism to pick up and transport items to different locations.
The first-place St. Mary's Composite Squadron consisted of:
- Cadet Master Sgt. Rachael Rioux (team lead)
- Cadet Airmen Eli Barrett, Josiah Huckabee, and Matthew Matthias II
In second place, the Alabama Wing’s joint team consisted of:
- Cadet Chief Master Sgts. Judah Cobert and Johnathan Drake
- Cadet Tech. Sgt. Emily Butera (team captain)
- Cadet Staff Sgt, Benjamin Booth
- Cadet Airmen 1st Class Christopher Parakkal and Lara Valcarcel
- Cadet Airmen Elizabeth Parakkal and Paul Valcarcel
Booth is a member of the Mountain Lakes Composite Squadron, while the other cadets belong to the Redstone Composite Squadron.
The third-place Greeneville Composite Squadron team consisted of:
- Cadet 2nd Lts. James Bailey and Noah Helton
- Cadet Tech. Sgt. Gavin Murray
- Cadet Staff Sgt. Helen Bailey
- Cadet Airmen 1st Class Gabe Starr, Aaron Zweifel, and Aiden Zweifel
The Redstone Squadron's Advanced Division cadets, five of whom also participated last year, were:
- Cadet Lt. Cols. Aeryn Anderson and Aidan Anderson
- Cadet Maj. Ben Lambertson
- Cadet Capts. Kristianna Berger and Greyston Harper
- Cadet Master Sgt. Brody Stokes (team captain)
- Cadet Senior Airman Thomas Fleming
- Cadet Airman 1st Class Jeremy Fielding Jr.
All but Berger, Fielding, and Fleming competed in 2022. Redstone finished second overall last year in an eight-team national finals field and fifth in 2021.