New Okla. Wing Unit Soars to Success
1st Lt. Brandon Lunsford Sr.
Public Affairs Officer
The Oklahoma Wing’s newest unit is flying high after only a few weeks in existence.
The Riverside Flight is based at R.L. Jones Jr. Airport at the Tulsa Technology Center, where it functions as part of the Broken Arrow Composite Squadron
“We started looking into the possibility of a new flight at the Tulsa Technology Center location when we noticed increased interest in the area,” said 2nd Lt. Yolanda Daves, the Riverside Flight’s deputy commander of seniors. “We began hosting open houses in June and July this year for five weeks, with a different theme each week.”
“The response was exciting,” added the flight’s safety officer, Staff Sgt. Dan Golden. “We had over 100 people attend each week. It really got us thinking.”
“The open houses brought in 29 new cadets and six new adult members,” Daves said. “This brought our flight up to 56 cadets and 17 adults.”
The flight recently held a training weekend, dubbed Operation First Stripe by staff. The new cadets were invited to participate while 15 senior cadets instructed 20 classes on various subjects, including drill and ceremonies, chain of command and uniform wear.The weekend session led to 20 of the 29 cadet basics receiving promotions to cadet airman at the end of September. Another 10 cadets were promoted to senior ranks, including one cadet officer.
“My favorite thing about OFS was learning drill,” Cadet Airman Chloe Shannon said. “I really love the drill.”
“In such a short time, Riverside feels like home. I like everything about it,” Shannon said.
R.L. Jones Jr. is a particularly promising site for a Civil Air Patrol unit. It has grown to become a hub of business and economic activity for the Tulsa region. It features three runways, over 200 commercial and private hangars and over 500 based aircraft, and it’s the fifth-busiest general aviation airport in the U.S.
Much of the airport's activity comes directly from its seven flight schools.