San Marcos Hosts Wing Competition, Takes Home Trophy

Written by Maj. Matthew Congrove     February 29th, 2016

Left to right are Lt. Col. Mike Duc, Lt. Col. Roger Corbin, and Maj. Jan Wagner of the Group 5 team proudly showing off their first place trophy. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)

  • Aircraft of the Civil Air Patrol sit on the tarmac in San Marcos at the start of the first annual Texas Wing Flight Competition. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)

  • Captain Chris Baker of the San Marcos squadron directs a taxiing aircraft during flight operations. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)


San Marcos, Texas — The plan to shine within Texas Wing proved to be two-fold this weekend as the David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron not only hosted the first annual Texas Wing Flight Competition, but also helped take home the first place trophy.

The event featured a variety of challenges that closely mimicked the experiences of Civil Air Patrol officers during search and rescue and disaster response missions. One test required the aircrews to locate a simulated emergency transmitter from a missing plane, while another had the teams photographing a local dam, similar to the type of service provided during the recent floods throughout Texas. Inspections, planning tests and quizzes were also used to judge the efficiency and professionalism of the teams.

Five crews representing every part of Texas participated in the contest. The Group 5 team, featuring two members from the local San Marcos squadron, proved to be too much for the other competitors. They outscored the field by nearly thirty percent.

"Excellent flight planning, quickly accomplished in this high tempo and realistic environment, was key to our success," said Lieutenant Colonel Roger Corbin, the mission pilot of the winning team. Lt. Col. Mike Duc served as the mission observer and Major Jan Wagner rounded out the crew as the mission scanner. "Crisp inflight crew coordination won the day," added Corbin.

Lt. Col. Corbin serves as a deputy commander for the San Marcos Civil Air Patrol squadron, and Lt. Col. Duc is the squadron's check pilot. Maj. Wagner is based out of Kerrville, and is also the Group 5 safety officer.

While the San Marcos squadron had a banner day, the Civil Air Patrol as a whole also came out on top.

"When we set this up, we envisioned a good competition with teams vying for points and winning a trophy," said Lt. Col. Shane Lipson, Texas Wing's Standardization and Evaluation Officer, who was in charge of the contest. "It became clear early on that this was also turning into an amazing training event."

Throughout the competition, situations arose that could potentially occur during real world missions. "One plane had the search equipment break down during flight, so they had to use other techniques to find the emergency transmitter," Lipson said.

Operations flowed smoothly at the mission base, held in the hanger of the CENTEX Commemorative Air Force. "We're thankful for our longtime friends here at the CAF for the assistance, as well as to Berry Aviation for keeping our planes flying," said Captain Bob Klett, a member of the San Marcos squadron and the logistics officer for the competition. "Couldn't have done it without them."


About Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol's 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.

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Contact Information

Lt. Col. Ron Diana, CAP
Squadron Commander & Public Affairs Officer
David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron, SWR-TX-435, Texas Wing
(512) 710-8435 | cc@texhillcap.org

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