The 41st Iowa Composite Squadron, NCR-IA-041, is fortunate to have a strong team of volunteers who contribute to improving and growing our team. 2016 saw tremendous improvement through the hard work of all the volunteers and supporters of the 41st Iowa Composite Squadron.

The squadron has received grants and donations that have allowed us to purchase new equipment and build a computer network that covers the meeting area with WiFi and a shared computer file space. We have set up a multi-display flight simulator and have improved computer capabilities thanks to the work of one of our cadet’s relatives, who is an expert in computers and software. We also have our HF communications up and running, ready to participate in nationwide radio networks. These improved capabilities supported a Search and Rescue Exercise at Davenport airport with USAF observers in 2015 where we worked to ensure that we can support Iowa Wing CAP’s mission in Emergency Services.

Our cadet program is growing stronger with several new cadets joining in 2016. The cadets are continuing to train and perform with their new color guard equipment. This is in thanks to donations from a former CAP Spaatz cadet whose son is a former Mitchell cadet. The son now flies F-18’s in the Marine Corps. Other recent donations have been used to increase our mission capability and effectiveness for aerial search to assist local emergency management agencies.

Our airborne photography capabilities have been greatly expanded in 2016. Our squadron now has multiple people that are trained and rated for Airborne Photography, one of which is an instructor. Thanks to the hard work of one of our IT officers, we now have the capability for photographs that are being taken from the aircraft to be sent real-time to Incident Command for viewing. This is a phenomenal capability that allows Command to direct the aircraft and photographer and meet real-time needs.

Our cadets are working on achieving skills and training so that they can participate in ground teams. Thanks to Lt Col Don Hahn, our Aerospace Education program is strong; we were recently awarded our 12th yearly award of the Aerospace Excellence achievement. In 2016, many cadets completed the Model Rocketry program and earned their model rocketry badges. Other cadet and aerospace development efforts in 2016 will pay off in 2017 with support to the local boy scouts so they can earn their aviation merit badges.

Davenport continued its support to the Quad Cities Airshow and had a strong presence at the QC airshow in 2016. The squadron and Iowa Wing CAP members provided crowd safety and assistance to the airshow coordinators as well as a static display of our C-172 and ground vehicles for recruiting and awareness of CAP’s mission. We will expand this effort to include awareness of AE programs and tie in to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education that provides no cost material to local teachers and free orientation flights for educators.

CAP is still one of the best kept secrets, but through our continued efforts, we will work to change that in the Quad Cities area by getting the word out about all the great opportunities available such as encampments, flight training, aerospace education, and summer special activities through programs at Air Force bases, college, and flight scholarships.