12:09 PM

Rhode Island Squadrons Support Rocketry Event for Veterans

Checking in

RIwingRhode Island Wing members from two squadrons pitched in at an annual activity allowing military veterans to launch model rockets free of charge, with cadets acquiring some hands-on experience of their own.

Rhode Island Model Rocketry Association asked the wing to provide volunteers, prompting aerospace education officers from the 102nd and West Bay composite squadrons — 2nd Lt. Brian Kile and Lt. Col. Andrew Thorne, respectively —to call on cadets and adult members to provide support.

Along with gaining exposure to  advanced model rocketry, the cadets were responsible for presenting the colors, setting up and breaking down equipment, assisting with launch setup, helping with food preparation, searching for and recovering launched rockets, and other duties as assigned.    

RIMRA-logoAs a thank-you to the cadets, the association provided them model rocket sets to build and launch at the event.

While the 102nd Composite cadets are still proceeding through the early stages of Civil Air Patrol’s rocketry program, their West Bay counterparts are further along. 
With Cadet Maj. Andrew Gudz providing command and direction, four young members of the 102nd squadron Cadet Staff Sgt. Benjamin Tessier, Cadet Airman 1st Class Anna Houle, and  Cadet Airmen Jack Hutchinson and Alexis Novicki launched their first model rockets at the activity’s conclusion.

The model rocketry launch also provided an opportunity for recruiting future cadets and educator members. Adult members with aerospace education experience staffed a recruiting table with CAP STEM Kits, literature, and information.

Construction work ahead

In all, 18 members participated:

102ndCSPatch_Main_Background_D387FB36ECDD8102nd Composite Squadron       

  • Maj. David Demello, safety officer     
  • 2nd Lts. Melissa Giovagniolli, deputy commander for cadets, and Brian Kile, aerospace education officer and deputy commander for seniors                   
  • Senior member Dayana Mendoza , public affairs officer         
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Benjamin Tessier           
  • Cadet Airmen 1st Class Maddox Giovagniolli and Anna Houle   
  • Cadet Airmen Bruno Altube, Jack Hutchinson, and Alexis Novicki                                  

RIwestbayWest Bay Composite Squadron

  • Lt. Cols. Jim Bell, safety officer, and Andrew Thorne, public affairs officer
  • 1st Lt. Rod Gudz, aerospace education officer
  •  Cadet Maj. Andrew Gudz
  •  Cadet Tech. Sgt. Zachary Thorne
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Christopher Kent
  •  Cadet Senior Airmen Bronx Arnold and Jack Gearing