Oregon Air Show Leads to Recruiting Opportunity
The Oregon Wing carried out a multifaceted approach Sept. 30 at the 35th Annual Oregon International Air Show at McMinnville Municipal Airport, with members focusing on recruiting, aerospace education, and meet-and-greet opportunities.
Capt. Patrick Wineman, Washington County Composite Squadron commander and event project officer, oversaw the effort along with his staff of seven adult members and 12 cadets.
Parked next to the pop-up tent used for recruiting and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) displays, including a table-top robotics demonstration, was one of the wing’s Civil Air Patrol aircraft.
The members “were able to cultivate 15 confirmed cadet and adult member prospects,” Wineman said.
Technology helped get information on prospective members to the appropriate squadron commanders quickly. Capt. Bart Bradish, the Oregon Wing’s assistant chief of staff, set up a QR code and online survey that captured the interests each potential recruit identified. The data was transmitted in just minutes.
“I really set up the system as a matter of self-preservation,” Bradish said.
“In years past I used pen and paper, entering everything on to a spreadsheet before sending it out. That took hours,” he said. “Then I tried just scanning the raw data (handwritten) and sending it to the commanders. That did not make me very popular.”
This time, Bradish said, “I did the research and had the registration form set up in 10 minutes. I linked it to a QR code that students could scan to complete the registration; I knew then this was the key to speedy prospect data acquisition.”
Event staff were able to meet the new Pacific Region CAP-USAF liaison officer, Maj. Matt Berggren of the Air Force Reserve. Berggren also serves with the U.S. Forest Service, which had a display tent next to the CAP tent.
Cadets also met Anna Fournaris of the U.S. Air Force Academy Recruitment Office, who will be visiting Oregon Wing squadrons soon to discuss educational opportunities at the academy.
“We made strong strides in putting a professional and welcoming face on Civil Air Patrol,” the Washington County squadron’s Wineman said. “We met many new people, shook hands with many veterans, renewed bonds with former cadet and adult members, and shared in the excitement of many young, potential aviators that sat in our [aircraft] and daydreamed about her or his potential to fly.”
“We also had front-row seats for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper flight demonstrations,” he continued. “This was the first appearance in Oregon for the Blue Angels in eight years.”
Capt. Timothy Vaughan
Public Affairs Officer