Towson, Md. Civil Air Patrol Captain Stacey McManus accepted command of the Towson Composite Squadron in the change of command ceremony held at the MG Harry C. Ruhl Armory on July 31, 2013. Maryland Wing, Group II commander, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Howell, presided over the event with Maryland Wing commander, Colonel John Knowles, outgoing squadron commander, Captain Steve Geimer and squadron members in attendance as McManus took possession of the squadron’s guidon. The Towson Composite Squadron is recognized as one of the oldest continually operating CAP squadrons in the nation. Originally located in Baltimore City, the squadron moved to Towson in 1961.
McManus, a solo pilot and a flight line supervisor, has achieved the respect and support of her peers and supervisors through her enthusiasm and commitment to excellence. Currently, a senior at the University of Maryland Baltimore County pursing Asian studies, McManus continues to engage in an aggressive CAP career with prior assignments as the Baltimore composite squadron's acting commander, the Group II finance officer, assistant cadet programs officer and advisor to the cadet advisory council. Regardless of the mission, McManus excels in performance and achievement. Joining CAP as a cadet member just 10 years ago, McManus progressed to the grade of Cadet Captain, earning the Amelia Earhart Award. This prestigious award is earned by only three percent of all CAP cadets and is named to honor of the famous aviation pioneer.
The change of command ceremony was preceded by the presentation of the Earhart Award to Cadet Captain Mark Kreynovich. Taking her first opportunity as squadron commander to acknowledge Kreynovich's success McManus said, “The most rewarding part of CAP is to see the accomplishments of the cadet members; they are our most valuable asset”
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. 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 is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. 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 more than 26,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. 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 or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Nearly 1,700 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 29 search and rescue missions and were credited with 13 finds saving three lives. Maryland Wing flew over 160 missions for the State of Maryland resulting in 2,222 hours flown. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.2 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at www.mdcap.org.
The Towson Squadron meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:00p.m. to 9:00p.m. at the MG Harry C. Ruhl Armory located at 1035 York Rd. in Towson, Md. Cadet Membership is open to youth ages 12-18, and Senior Membership is open to adults 18 and over. Potential members and visitors are encouraged to attend meetings for more information.
By. Lt. Col. Christopher Howell, Maryland Wing, Group II, Civil Air Patrol. www.mdcap.org