Shootout in Arizona Wing

Civil Air Patrol

By AZ Wing Member | News of the Force

Yesterday morning, Barry Young, on KFYI Radio, was speaking to an individual that identifies himself as a retired United Airline Captain about the situation at United Airlines.

During the conversation, the topic of how well the Arizona Wing of the CAP performs its task of finding lost aircraft. Young’s comment sums it up: “Yeah, we’re volunteers, and by-God your gonna give us some rank.”

There was nothing mentioned about the search-and-rescue job CAP is supposedly attempting to accomplish, just the verbal depiction of a bunch of clowns running around, accomplishing nothing.

The Arizona Wing started this year off by the Air Force compelling the entire Wing to stand down for ninety days.

This was due primarily to Jim Mooney’s inability to at least lead the wing at the status quo left to him by CAP Col Richard L. McGlade, the previous Wing Commander. Mooney was too busy blaming his inability to manage the Wing on Col McGlade.

Mooney has succeeded in destroying the search-and-rescue infrastructure of the Wing, demonstrated by the past year of accomplishments. The last USAF SAR Exercise (SAREX) marked the wing performance at “marginal” — the lowest rating possible.

During the year, outside the ninety-day stand down, nine SAREX missions were scheduled, half were canceled due to lack of interest. The performances of ground teams, typically composed of cadets, are even more dismal. Scott Kozakiewicz scheduled four exercises this past year.

Kozakiewicz believes he is not subject to the rules and laws that govern everyone else nor should he even consider a modicum of safety for the cadets placed in his charge.  He scheduled the first exercise during the opening week of deer season. He never bothered to notify either the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management about the exercise he would be conducting.

During one of the search exercises, a group of deer hunters fired a couple of shots at the cadets. Kozakiewicz immediately pulled out a pistol and threatened the hunters — masquerading as a member of the U.S. Air Force security police. The next ground teams SAREX one of the senior members got lost with two minor female cadets for over six hours late in the evening.

At the March 2002 SAREX, two cadets fell, incurring serious injuries due to inadequate safety precautions. One cadet broke his wrists, and the other sustained serious lacerations.

During the June SAREX, one ground team packed ten members into a 15 passenger van with their equipment then proceeded out across the countryside running over small trees and brush. No consideration was given to the fire danger precautions in place by the U.S. Forest Service and this was in an area where the largest fire ever recorded in the state of Arizona started less than a week later.

Additionally, the cadet ground teams — composed of young women and young men — had no female senior member accompanying them on an overnight exercise. Thanks to Mooney and Kozakiewicz, the Arizona Wing has become a joke to the community they supposedly serve.

Ground teams are specifically instructed not to give position coordinates over the FSR frequencies or CAP frequencies as the Sheriff’s Department will then know where to go. Senior members chastise cadets that find beeping ELTs because the senior members are supposed to find the ELT, forgetting, apparently, that the objective of a SAR sortie was to save lives!

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