17:22 PM

Mont. Cadets Receive Model Rocketry Badges

Lt. Col. Bill Bowden
Public Affairs Officer
Butte Composite Squadron
Montana Wing

Seven cadets in the Montana Wing’s Butte Composite Squadron recently received Civil Air Patrol’s Model Rocketry Badge after building, launching and recovering five rockets they built during meetings and – once the pandemic began – at home.

Each cadet completed several single-stage projectiles and a two-stage payload lifter. They launched their creations at Copper Mountain Little Guy Football Field.

They also scored at least 80% three online tests on rocketry history and rocketry pioneer biographies, on scientific laws with mathematical theories of rocket flight, and on rocket engine performance.

The effort to earn the award began before the pandemic began last spring. The more basic rockets were built and launched at unit meetings.

When in-person meetings were cancelled because of COVID-19, the single-stage kits were delivered to the cadets’ homes for construction.

The first rocket launch marked the squadron’s first physical gathering since restrictions forced meetings online.

Rocketry badges went to:

  • Cadet 2nd Lt. Heather Hood
  • Cadet Tech. Sgt. Brianna Yount
  • Cadet Airmen Masyn Hanna, Isaac Hunter, Rebekah Miller and Jason Sanders
  • Cadet Airman Basic Abigail Seeger.

Second Lt. Walt McIntosh, the unit’s assistant aerospace education officer, organized and led the rocketry program, teaching the necessary classes and supervising the rocket construction and launches. Lt. Col. Bill Bowden, aerospace education officer, and 2nd Lt. Brian Hood, logistics officer, also lent a hand.

Capt. Erik Eichner, the squadron’s commander, expressed appreciation to local officials, saying the “rocket launches would not been possible without advice and coordination with” the Parks and Recreation Department and Fire Department.

“It is great that our cadets can enjoy themselves by participating in this stimulating and educational activity,” McIntosh said. “They were able to build rockets and watch them work.

“As part of learning the basic physics of rocketry, cadets tested rocket stability and adjusted the center of gravity as needed. Mathematics was used to estimate how high the rockets flew. Cadets also had the opportunity to be creative when they styled and painted their rockets,” he said.n