Texas Wing Holds Second Annual Aircrew Competition

Written by Civil Air Patrol     February 26th, 2017

Civil Air Patrol aircraft wait on the tarmac in San Marcos before the start of the second annual Texas Wing Aircrew Competition. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)

  • Left to right are Capt. Brian Relin, Capt. Mark Holub and Maj. Scott Knightly of the winning Group 3 aircrew. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)

  • Event coordinator Lt. Col. Shane Lipson, left, briefs the competing teams before the beginning of morning operations. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)

San Marcos, Texas — The skies over San Marcos were filled with aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol on Saturday as five teams from around the state competed in the second annual Texas Wing Aircrew Competition. The three-person crew from Group 3, which encompasses Dallas, Irving and Waco, took home the trophy after a hectic day of flying, inspections and tests.

The winning team, made up of Major Scott Knightly, Captain Brian Relin and Captain Mark Holub, edged out the competition in three of the seven events and were lauded for their exemplary skills in the disaster response portion of the contest. Group 3 will represent Texas against five other states in the upcoming Southwest Region competition, also held in San Marcos, in May.

Texas Wing Group 6 (Fort Worth region) finished in second place, and Group 4 (Houston region) placed closely behind in third.

While the event provided a venue for friendly competition and the chance to earn bragging rights, the major theme is to prepare aircrews and operations staff for large scale missions.

"During last year's event we quickly realized the training opportunities being presented," said Lieutenant Colonel Shane Lipson, Texas Wing's Standardization and Evaluation Officer and the coordinator for the event. "You have multiple aircraft in the air, people running radio communications, and the logistics of keeping everything running smoothly," he said. "It's a perfect analogy to the sort of operations we run during disaster response."

The competition events included inspections, quizzes and simulated missions. Each event is meant to reinforce the professionalism with which the aircrews regularly operate while also promoting the idea that the business of saving lives requires urgency, safety and accuracy.

"We're glad we were able to host this competition again in San Marcos," said Maj. Matthew Congrove, Commander of the local squadron and one of the event judges. "We owe a large amount of thanks to our local partners including our hosts, the CENTEX Commemorative Air Force, as well as Berry Aviation and Texas Aviation Partners."

"We look forward to the Southwest Region competition in a few months and will be cheering on the home team," he added.

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.


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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