Golden Triangle Civil Air Patrol Wins Award
Starkville, MS – The Golden Triangle Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (MS057) has been named by the Mississippi Wing as the Squadron of the Year at the annual conference held at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. The squadron was selected as the best of twelve squadrons in Mississippi. This prestigious award was earned by the squadron for the tireless efforts of its members during 2011.
The leadership of the squadron for the first ten months of 2011 was Major Trey Breckenridge and his deputy commander, Major Roger Smith. These leaders encouraged the squadron members to train diligently and work to perform the missions assigned to them. Some of the efforts that earned the squadron its award were its work with Columbus Air Force Base, its response to the disastrous tornadoes that hit the region in April, the rapid response to an airplane crash in Hinds County in August, and the assistance given in support of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Major Trey Breckenridge was honored as the Officer of the Year by the Mississippi Wing at the conference as well. Having served the Golden Triangle Composite Squadron for over 5 years he has led the squadron to be responsive to the needs of the Civil Air Patrol. These are some detailed examples of how Major Breckenridge lead his unit to success:
- Direct support of Columbus Air Force Base
- The Golden Triangle Composite Squadron has become a strong support element for Columbus Air Force Base under Major Breckenridge’s leadership. Each year MS057 flies the low level route surveys for 14 military training routes operated by Columbus AFB which enhances safety for the hundreds of Air Force pilots and instructors who fly these routes every year. Trey has given his own personal time to ensure that these missions are flown timely and the information returned to the Air Force is correct and reliable. Major Breckenridge ensures that the routes are flown with qualified air crews
- In October of this year, the Golden Triangle Regional Airport and Columbus Air Force Base held a joint disaster exercise at KGTR. Twenty-six agencies from throughout the state participated in the mock training drill, and MS07 was an integral part of the success for the Air Force. Col Barre Seguin, 14 Flying Training Wing Commander said this following the exercise. “CAP is part of all our rescue plans here.” This paradigm of direct involvement with CAFB has been fostered by Major Breckenridge and continues to build as our squadron works more directly with the senior staff to ensure pilot safety and emergency preparedness.
- Crew Training and preparedness
- Major Breckenridge’s leadership as squadron commander lead to a successful distressed find in August. His leadership of the squadron encouraged members of MS057 to actively participate in SAREX’s, CD and Air force Low Level Route Surveys. That participation developed the needed experience to respond to an unexpected distress call in flight and gave him command of a ready crew to located the aircraft and guide the first responders to the scene of the crash in a timely and efficient manner. Without his insistence that we continue to train and fly, we would not have had the CRM and the organized cockpit that made this find possible.
- April 26th, 2010 saw a historic event in Mississippi. Two Category 5 tornadoes were on the ground simultaneously in North and east Mississippi. The damage was extensive and the information that was needed by the National Weather Service to understand the full extent of the weather phenomenon could only be done by aerial survey of the damage. Major Breckenridge volunteered himself and a crew to fly to Jackson to pick up a NWS meteorologist (and CAP member) and fly him along the track of the tornadoes for better assessment. This assessment resulted in the discovery of another, unseen tornado track as well as better understanding of the extent of the damage. This mission earned a Disaster Relief Ribbon with ‘V’ device for the air crew. Trey’s leadership as squadron commander represented MS057 as a “go-to” squadron for disaster relief and other ES activities. This single opportunity is one of many in Trey’s long stint as commander of MS 057 and exemplifies the highest qualities of leadership and volunteerism at the squadron level.
- While not directly involved with the CAP mission of photo reconnaissance for the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, Major Breckenridge volunteered his expertise to enhance the efficiency of the crews that were flying the support missions. Major Breckenridge partnered with Major Roger Smith and volunteered their technical expertise as well as the high performance computing capabilities at Mississippi State University to enhance the efficiency of the photo reconnaissance that was being performed by CAP daily. This effort has been dubbed “the program that works.” Other states spent large amounts of money for computer programs that did not perform nearly as well as the free service and programming that Major Breckenridge volunteered at no cost. This pro active initiative by Major Breckenridge expanded the team and made a significant difference for the success of MSWG in the support effort.
- This year MS057 is the only squadron to have two members achieve Level V status in Civil air Patrol. Lt Col Michael Hainsey and Major Roger Smith both completed the senior member professional development program by completing Level V. This is the highest award within the CAP’s professional development program and is marked by receiving the Gill Robb Wilson Award. Major Smith graduated from the CAP National Staff College.Major Breckenridge is instrumental in leading the individuals who have achieved this advanced level in CAP. Trey has been a strong leader and has encouraged the squadron members to become as knowledgeable about CAP as possible. His leadership in this area is showing results and will continue to enhance the efficiency and performance of this squadron.
Another award bestowed on one of the members of the Golden Triangle Composite Squadron went to Lieutenant Colonel Mike Hainsey. LTC Hainsey was awarded the Safety Officer of the Year by the Mississippi Wing. In addition to his strong leadership within the squadron, his active role to promote safety and safety education for the unit is exemplary. Mike Hainsey is an outstanding example of what a Safety Officer should be, and his effort for more extensive safety in the region sets him apart from all other safety officers in the Wing. Two examples of how Mike works to keep the members of the squadron safe are:
- Safety in the squadron
Mike is the Safety Officer for MS057. His record of safety in the squadron is exemplary, and his leadership for this role has made a difference in the operation, moral and efficiency of MS057. Mike ensures that the members in the squadron are focused on safety and that they are knowledgeable about preventing, minimizing or handling with accidents and incidents as they arise.
- Safety outside the squadron
Mike completes all of the requirements for a squadron safety officer timely and completely, he has also worked outside of the squadron for safety in the environment in which we operate. Lt. Col Hainsey is the manager of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport, and in October of this year, the Golden Triangle Regional Airport and Columbus Air Force Base held a join disaster exercise at KGTR. Twenty-six agencies from throughout the state participated in the mock training drill, and MS07 was an integral part of the success for the Air Force. Col Barre Seguin, 14 Flying Training Wing Commander said this following the exercise. “CAP is part of all our rescue plans here.” Lt. Col. Hainsey ensured that CAP was ready and able to launch a crew that was capable of completing the mission as well as demonstrating the abilities and value of CAP during a close examination of the relationship CAFB has with the emergency service agencies supporting them.
The Golden Triangle Composite Squadron is an outstanding representative of the Civil Air Patrol and the Mississippi Wing. We are proud to be recognized by the Mississippi wing as having outstanding members, leaders and a top quality team.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 26,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 69 years. It is a major partner of Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com.