R.I. National Guard Air Show Draws Support from 85 in Northeast Region
Capt. Chase Boni
Public Affairs Officer
Rhode Island Wing
Eighty-five volunteers from Civil Air Patrol’s Northeast Region turned out to provide assistance at the 2018 Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show held at Quonset Air National Guard Base in North Kingstown.
During the event, which annually draws tens of thousands of spectators, members of the Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont wings monitored and ensured the safety of aircraft on display, helped reunite missing children with their families and contributed to maintaining a clean and pleasant environment for visitors.
Each morning before the start of the show, qualified CAP members provided flight-line support for the general aviation fly-in. In addition, the Rhode Island Wing’s communications and aircrew capabilities were constantly available to assist the Rhode Island National Guard in the event of an emergency.
This year’s air show lineup included performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Naval Academy Parachute Team, the GEICO Skytypers and acrobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker, as well as Rhode Island’s “Home Team”: the 143rd Airlift Wing and 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment. The 143rd wing hosts Rhode Island Wing Headquarters at the base.
Two days before the air show’s official start on June 9, Chief Master Sgt. Jacob Heroux of the Rhode Island Wing’s 106th Cadet Squadron received the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a Young Eagles flight with Tucker. Tucker and Heroux flew over southern Rhode Island in Tucker’s Oracle Challenger III – an experience the cadet described as “outstanding!” and “incredibly exciting!”
On June 8 CAP members arrived to set up their bivouac for the weekend, and participants held a cookout that night – one of numerous opportunities for camaraderie and recreation during off-hours. Several cadets remarked that participating in the air show was one of the high points of their year.“We are so happy to have been invited to participate by the Rhode Island Wing. We are going to tell all of the other squadrons in Connecticut what a great event this is!” said Senior Member Lory Hammer-Young of the Connecticut Wing’s Stratford Eagles Composite Squadron.
Each year at the air show, hundreds of visitors stop by the CAP display and recruiting booth. This year, the Rhode Island Wing’s Cessna 182 was on display, alongside model rockets and emergency services equipment. Cadets and senior members greeted prospective members, inviting them to take a seat in the Cessna or try their hand at the Rhode Island Wing’s flight simulator set-up.