Category Archives: General News

Balloon Fiesta Safety Tips

Balloon-fiesta - kicks off Autumn activities in Albuquerque NM, here are several links to safety tips/info you need to be aware of during this event.

· Traffic in & around the Balloon Fiesta Park will be congested and that there will be many out of town/ out of state visitors who are unfamiliar with our traffic, the layout of our streets and the locations of our hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

· Be more vigilant and build extra time in if you commute through the Northern I-25 area and surrounding streets especially with the fairly recent changes in the layout of the new I-25 & Paseo del Norte interchange.

· Traffic flow is going to be unfamiliar to the out of town visitors; so be extremely aware when driving in this area and consider avoiding the area if you're not going to the event.

· Consider using alternate travel routes to avoid the congestion and risks due to the new traffic flows in and around this area.

· Be aware that both visitors and local drivers may be distracted and paying attention to the balloons aloft and not keeping focused on driving as they should be.

So be extra vigilant of other drivers your sharing the road during this massive international event, drive defensively. Additionally the balloon ground crew/chase crews are driving their chase vehicles and trying to use side streets to follow their balloons to their landing sites to assist in safely recovering the balloon however the landing site can be in any parking lot, park or any open area in and around Albuquerque.

· The landing sites can be anyplace in the local area that the prevailing winds and the balloon pilots decide the balloons needs to land for both the balloon's crew and the public's safety.

· Again be aware & extra attentive of traffic flow and spectators in and around each balloon landing site.

Some tips to enhance enjoying the event

· Arrive early; if you arrive at the Park & Ride remote lot after 5:30AM you may not see Dawn Patrol which launches at 0600 or the first wave of balloons launch which launches at 0700 if weather / winds permit.

· Dress in layers for the seasonal temperature range which varies widely from the early morning, into the afternoon and finally for the evening's Balloon glows.

· Wear comfortable shoes and clothing

· Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and water

· Event gear: Limit the extras stuff such as strollers, backpacks, lawn chairs, etc. as a courtesy to ease crowding at the event

· Follow the directions of local law enforcement, the Fiesta staff members and volunteers

· Be a good Albuquerque ambassador and be extra courteous to our out of town guests.

For more detailed safety & traffic congestion avoidance tips check out the web links below.

Aug 31 ’15 – Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

By Staff Sgt. Whitney Stanfield , Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information / Published August 28, 2015 WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,” expanding the Air Force’s descriptions of total force and Airmen to now consist of regular, Guard, Reserve, civilian and auxiliary members. Historically, the broader term Airmen referred to uniformed and civilian members of the U.S. Air Force (officer or enlisted, regular, Reserve, or Guard) regardless of rank, component or specialty. With this newest change, Air Force leaders should consider each part of the total force, including the auxiliary, when determining the most effective and efficient ways to complete the mission. CAP has approximately 57,000 volunteers and 550 aircraft assigned to more than 1,500 units stateside available or currently supporting non-combat missions on behalf of the Air Force. “As a strategic partner, these unpaid professionals have boldly served our nation saving the Air Force almost 40 times the cost of using military assets for each hour served,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “Inclusion in the total force reflects the continuing key contributions of this highly trained and equipped organization.” The auxiliary members, who fly the nearly 100,000 hours per year performing disaster relief, counterdrug, search and rescue, fighter interceptor training, aerial observation and cadet orientation flights, will now be included in the total force and referred to as Airmen during the performance of official duties in recognition of their contributions to the Air Force. “Civil Air Patrol enjoys a proud legacy of selfless sacrifice and service to country and community that spans decades,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Vazquez, the CAP national commander. “Our ability to augment the Air Force is second to none. We provide 85 percent of inland search and rescue missions and disaster-relief support to local, state and national agencies as well as aerial reconnaissance for homeland security, and remain continually postured to offer more.” Beyond CAP’s support to achieve its homeland responsibilities for non-combat operations, the organization has been recognized for their efforts to inspire hundreds of thousands of cadets and K-12 students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and training. “Civil Air Patrol’s increased exposure has a direct impact on attracting youth interest in STEM-based activities which are skills necessary to develop the innovative Airmen our Air Force needs,” said Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III. “We proudly welcome the Air Force auxiliary by extending our badge of honor as Airmen.” Original Article:

10 August 2015 – Awards Nominations

To all, It’s that great time again to create our recognition for our members. (Squadron COAs, Wing COAs, Special COAs, and the other awards listed below) Awards can be submitted by anyone. (I highly encourage you to do so and if you don’t we might forget) We cover what members have accomplished since this time last year. If you are a C/SSgt and above I will expect you to think hard and submit CAPF 2a’s. (Thru your chain of command to the DCC to Me) All Seniors, you have seen folk do great things and in all areas! I don’t see everything and sometimes folks do a lot behind the scenes that we forget to recognize. I would like for you all to the same thing. Think about who we should be recognizing and submit them. Also, thank about what level of award. (You can also recognize members outside of our squadron that you feel should be recognized.) I don’t believe in everyone getting a trophy. I believe in recognizing those that give and a lot and do! I want to recognized our folks. Plus submit to wing our awards we feel deserve higher recognition. Please submit your CAPF2a No later than 31 Aug. earlier the better. That give us plenty of time to get awards threw Wing, Region and National if necessary. Thanks you all for everything you do. Maj Lloyd Voights, CAP Spirit Squadron Commander <<< NOTE: See Email for CAPF2a in Word Doc format >>> Silver Medal of Valor Distinguished and conspicuous heroic action, at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of normal duty. Bronze Medal of Valor Distinguished and conspicuous heroic action where danger to self is probable and known. Distinguished Service Medal Conspicuous performance of outstanding service in a duty of great responsibility where the position held and results obtained reflect upon the accomplishments and prestige of CAP on a national scale. Exceptional Service Award Exceptionally outstanding service to CAP in a duty of great responsibility while serving in any capacity with CAP. Meritorious Service Award Outstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of CAP. Commander's Commendation Award Outstanding duty performance where achievements and services are clearly and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and service of members of like rank and responsibility. Certificate of Recognition for Lifesaving Awarded to members who save a human life, but do not meet the criteria for the Bronze or Silver Medal of Valor.

5 August 2015 – Tuesday Weekly SAREX Training

Today was a great day! If you didn't come out to train in the ES. YOU MISSED OUT! C/CAPT Salazar completed his last two task for GTM 1 "AWESOME!" Another great training with the dogs and oh yes, SM Kessinger and myself help save a life. We all saw smoke from the highway and went to check it out. A Van crashed and rolled over and caught on fire. It was great to see the swift action from SM Kessinger to jump in and provide aid to the injured driver. Both myself and SM Kessinger were at the right place at the right time. Thursday SM Kessinger will tell you more this Thursday. Another great reason to get your First Aid from CAPT Fox. Maj Lloyd Voights, CAP

28 Jun 15, From the Commanders Desk

From the Commander’s desk, Wow, spirit squadron! This last month you all have done one outstanding job. There is so much we have done I am only going to touch the highlights. We did the Wine festival and made $7,950.00. Our color guard perform three events. To include the Wing and Region Change of Command. Our squadron deployed to a FTX at Santa Rosa Lake (OverNight). We also conducted a REDCAP mission. Our Ground Team searched for a subject in Toas NM. We ended up rescuing a lost hiker(AWESOME!). We had 5 new members join our squadron. We also have three more members in the process. We had rockets at the balloon park (Great Time having Fun!). We had members participate or lead courses and classes. These courses and classes include, Unit Commanders Course, TF-1 Public Affairs Training, K-9 training and repelling, Ground Team Training, and Communication Training. Our Squadron takes the lead on Thursday nights and established a wing net. (Holy Toledo that a lot of stuff) Saturday (June 27 )the Wing and Region conducted their change of command. Awesome to see so many spirit members present. Prior to the COC we had members receive awards from region and wing. SWR Cadet NCO of the Year 2014, C/Msgt Bailey Little. (C/2LT Little) Also Cadet Bailey Little has been awarded 2015 Air Force Sergeant’s Association Cadet NCO of the Year Award (WOW!!!!!!!!!) SWR Drug Demand Reduction Member of the Year 2014 CAPT Karen Barela. (Awesome!) We also had our more of our senior members at wing level also be awarded and recognized. LtCol Jay Tourtel Wing Asst Public Affairs officer MAJ Michael Eckert Wing ES Training Officer MAJ Charles Mathews Wing Transportation Officer MAJ Dale Perry Wing Asst Finance Officer C/Capt Ryan Eckert Achievement Award BIG KUDOS to our squadron members. When you see them help me recognize them for their hard work and effort. As we grow, we are changing memberspositions. You will be seeing a lot of different faces in new positions. A new org chart for seniors will be coming out soon. We have a lot of great events coming in the near future. ES training, another AE Event for lunch time and much much more. Cadets, I challenge you to step it up and get promoted. I want quality cadets! I know each of you have what it takes. The Bar is set high! CAN YOU DO IT! Parents, WE NEED YOU!!!!!!! We are always in need of Cadets Sponsor Members. Help a little, so we can go far and continue the outstanding service we provide. I don’t want to cut back because we are burning out the few. Help us share this load. You might see why we have so much fun and make a difference. You can make that difference too! Lastly, International Air Cadet Exchange is still in need of host families. We have cadets from Belgium and the UK. Last year was a great experience for the host family and cadet. This year it will be July 27-30. Please know if you are interested. I will have more details to give you. Thanks again to all of you!!! Without your dedication to excellence we would not be the best. All other squadron look at us as the example of what right looks likes. That it from the Commanders desk. See you all at our next meeting July 9. Maj Lloyd Voights, CAP Spirit Squadron Commander NM-083 (C) 505-503-0463 U.S. Air Force Auxiliary