SD Wing of Civil Air Patrol Receives 'excellent'evaluation Members of Lewis and Clark Composite Squadron based in Yankton contributed to an "Excellent" U.S. Air Force evaluation in a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) search and rescue training exercise in Pierre Saturday, July 23.
Civil Air Patrol is the national volunteer auxiliary of the Air Force, conducting 95 percent of the search missions ordered by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley Air Force Base. Lewis and Clark Composite Squadron, under the command of First Lieutenant Teresa Schimelfening of Vermillion, with members from Yankton, Vermillion, Mission Hill, Tyndall, Platte, Avon, Crofton, NE, and Sioux City, IA, is one of 11 CAP units in South Dakota.
The evaluated exercise simulated missing aircraft, lost children, and other objectives typical of actual CAP missions. Over 40 CAP members from across the state participated.
Air Force evaluators scrutinized every aspect of conducting and managing the mission.
The standard Air Force evaluation is �Satisfactory.� Evaluation team leader Major Mike Peterson, of Minneapolis, said the �Excellent� rating earned by the South Dakota CAP members recognizes going above and beyond the level of a basic successful mission. He said it is the first �Excellent� his evaluation team has given this year.
Mission roles filled by members of Lewis and Clark Composite Squadron were: LTC Rich Beringer of Avon, Ground Team Leader, 1LT Juraj Kamenar, Cadet Airmen Tanner Svanda, Jesse Bicknell of Yankton, Nick and Anthony Chaney of Platte, Ground Team Members, Cadet Staff Sergeant Phil Jared of Mission Hill, Ground Team Communications, Cadet Senior Airman Ben Schimelfening of Vermillion, Mission Radio Operator and 1LT Teresa Schimelfening of Vermillion, Plans (Staff Assistant).
SD Wing Staff members from the local area that participated are LTC Al Nedved of Tyndall Communications Unit Leader and LTC Mike Marek of Vermillion, Information Officer.
Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer organization and always looking for new members to help in its three missions of emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. Adults and youth ages 12 to 18 interested in joining are always welcome to sit in on a meeting to see what CAP is all about.
Lewis and Clark Composite Squadron meets weekly at Yankton�s Chan Gurney Airport Terminal every first and third Thursday, with cadets starting at 6 p.m. and seniors at 7 p.m., then every second and fourth Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for training.