New Deputy Commander for Cadets is Appointed

As we move through the second quarter of the year, it amazes me how quickly the first quarter disappeared!  There have been many changes that have taken place here at Fox Cities Composite Squadron.  Our most recent change happened during our 9-May meeting when Lieutenant Colonel Robert Koehler stepped down as Deputy Commander for Cadets.  Lt Col Koehler has been a driving force at FCCS for two decades mentoring not only Cadets but new Senior Members!  Thankfully he is not leaving our Squadron, but will be focusing on his position as the Plans & Programs Officer for Wisconsin Wing.

The Cadet program is excited to welcome First Lieutenant Lauren Niemi to the position of Deputy Commander for Cadets!  Her enthusiasm and dedication to the program will undoubtedly bring some fresh ideas and excitement!  Please join me in congratulating Lt Niemi on her new position!

1st Lt Niemi accepting Deputy Commander for Cadets

Summer brings a busy schedule to any Civil Air Patrol Squadron, and ours is no exception.  Make sure you check our events calendar often and try to help when your schedule allows … many hands make light work!  And let’s not kid ourselves, some of these events are just plain FUN!  For those parents, grandparents, or guardians of Cadets who would like to assist with Squadron events but are not ready to be members I encourage you look into our Cadet Sponsor Membership which will allow you to be members, without being members.  We definitely are always in need of extra hands, extra drivers, and extra help!  If you would like more information on this please stop in to the Squadron and we would be happy to help you!

As we move into this busy season I want to thank the parents and members for their hard work and dedication to our program!  Without all of you, we wouldn’t be the best Squadron in the Wing!

-2d Lt Lisa Bastian
Deputy Commander for Seniors

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FCCS Building Relationships with Local EAA Chapters


A mutual appreciation is growing between the Fox Cities Composite Squadron and local EAA chapters throughout the Fox Valley. This past month marked another great EAA event that FCCS has participated in. Our squadron was at the EAA Chapter 252 pancake breakfast at Wittman Field in Oshkosh. Part of the day’s activities included Young Eagles flights for youth ages 8 to 17. Cadets assisted with this by escorting parents and kids safely to and from aircraft. This is only one event that FCCS has helped with in recent months.

Throughout the past year FCCS has helped at many other EAA chapters in the Fox Valley, including events at Chapter 572 in Fond du Lac and Chapter 41 in Neenah. FCCS has developed a reputation of professionalism and a willingness to serve throughout the Fox Valley. Our mutual passion for aviation has brought our organizations together. As we look into the future there will be many more events that FCCS will continue to support because of our great working relationship with local EAA chapters.

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Where has January gone …

Fox Cities Composite Squadron has dove right into the new year with excitement and just like that January is already nearing an end?! As they say … time flies when you are having fun!

Just a reminder that tonight (Tuesday, January 24th) is our regular weekly meeting! If you’ve been interested in finding out more about Civil Air Patrol we would love to see you!

We would like to Thank everyone who supported our Buffalo Wild Wings Fundraiser on January 19th! It was a great night and we seen lots of familiar faces! Many of you may not realize but Civil Air Patrol is an all volunteer program and is a 501c3, our Squadron runs off of donations and fundraisers so these type of events, while fun, are essential to being able to continue our training through-out the year! With that said it is never to early to mark your Calendars for our next ‘FUN’draiser! Thursday, May 11, 2017 we have a fun night out at BadgerSports Park planned! This fundraiser will be similar as all you have to do is come out, buy a wristband and HAVE FUN! Go ahead … pull out your phone and put it on your Calendar! Who doesn’t love laser tag and batting cages??

Long before we get to May 11th however, we will have our Annual Squadron Banquet! There is still a small window of time to sign up! This event is open to any and all, no membership needed! Our guest Speaker this year is Lt Col (Ret) Michael Hert and Mrs. Hert, and they will be sharing their exciting and difficult journey as a military family. So if your calendar is empty for Saturday, February 4, 2017 … we have a great way to fill up your evening! Good food, great friends, and a night out! If you are interested in signing up please do so quickly as our numbers need to be in soon!! RSVP HERE!.

Stay tuned as the excitement level of upcoming Spring events start to bloom! Ok, well, we can hope for Spring in February, right??

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Tonight’s meeting cancelled due to snow

The snow is beautiful, if you are watching it fall from the sky while sipping hot-cocoa from under a blanket nestled into the couch. In other words, our Tuesday evening meeting is cancelled for this evening, 10-Jan.

We do hope to see you all join us for our next meeting, 17-JAN, as we will be holding our Quarterly Parent meeting! This is a great time to stop out, watch what your Cadets are doing and bring any questions along that you may have! We will be discussing our up-coming Fundraising events and other Calendar updates. As well as our Squadron goals for the next year! The parent meeting will be held during our normal meeting time (7:00-9:00pm).

We do have a few events that are creeping closer! We will also discuss these in detail at the Parent Meeting but here is a quick break down of each event! As always, events are updated on our Calendar, click HERE to see all of the events we have listed. If you click on each event any information or details that have been released can be seen!

17-JAN: Parent Meeting!
19-JAN: Buffalo Wild Wings Fundraiser

27-29 JAN: Mission Base Staff/Communications Academy @ Volk Field Air National Guard Base
29-JAN: Aerospace/Rocketry Booth at the Appleton Family Fun Expo @ Appleton North High School
4-FEB: 2017 Annual Awards Banquet (Open to Members and their families, as well as anyone looking to enjoy a great meal with good company!) Our guest speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Michael Hert & Mrs. Julie Hert. They will be sharing their experiences as a family unit when dealing with deployments. Lt Col Hert has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Horn of Africa.

If you are interested in joining us for this event please RSVP by clicking: HERE! by January 15, 2017. Payments can be mailed or dropped off at: Fox Cities Composite Squadron, W6558 Pathfinder Drive, Appleton, WI 54914

Just when we thought winter would slow down our Squadron fun!

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Civil Air Patrol awarded the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

In September, at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space, & Cyber Conference, Major General Joseph Vazquez (Civil Air Patrol National Commander) was presented with the Air Forces’ Organizational Excellence Award for the period of October 1, 2012 through August 31, 2016.

This is a great honor for Civil Air Patrol, and comes within months of Civil Air Patrol being recognized by the Air Force as part of the Air Force Total Force! Click on the press release below to read about this honor!

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Years of hard work recognized as Robert Koehler & Jerry Jessick receive their promotion to Lieutenant Colonel!

After 10+ years of hard work and dedication to the Civil Air Patrol missions, Fox Cities Composite Squadron is pleased to be able to congratulation Lieutenant Colonel Robert Koehler & Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Jessick on their recent promotions!
The promotion to Lieutenant Colonel is the culmination of the senior member program as it is the last attainable grade within the program. To reach this level a member must complete all five levels of the professional development program; as well as serving within the program at various levels for approximately 10 years. Reaching this level is not just a given, it is something that is earned with hard work and dedication. Fox Cities Composite Squadron is proud that these gentlemen have dedicated their time to make our Squadron and our Wing the best it can be!



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Lieutenant Lange becomes Fox Cities’ Squadron Commander

As summer ends the continuing changes at Fox Cities Composite Squadron are becoming more exciting!

On Tuesday, September 13, 2017, First Lieutenant James Lange took over as the new Squadron Commander. The Change of Command Ceremony was well attended as parents, family, and friends joined us the welcome Lt. Lange into his new positon.

Major Mark Niemi relinquishing command.

Major Mark Niemi relinquishing command.

First Lieutenant James Lange accepting command.

First Lieutenant James Lange accepting command.

Fox Cities Composite Squadron would like to thank Major Niemi for his dedication and leadership! Maj. Niemi will be staying with Fox Cities as the Operations Officer for the Squadron. This will allow him to dedicate his time to aircraft operations and helping to prepare our pilots to serve in Emergency Services missions and training.

Fox Cities Composite Squadron is looking forward to continuing our growth and excellence as a Squadron under the leadership of Lt. Lange!

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Congratulations to …

Fox Cities has seen our fair share of graduating high school seniors move on this year! We wished Cadet Staff Sergeant Jack Gossen farewell as he started his career with the United States Merchant Marine Academy and Cadet Second Lieutenant Michael Chanda as he starts his career with the United States Air Force.

There is another graduating senior at Fox Cities Composite Squadron, who is not leaving us just yet. Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2d Lt) Lauren Vassios, graduated from Menomonie High School in Menomonie, WI, June 2016. Lt. Vassios spent some time with the Eau Claire Composite Squadron, just recently transferring to Fox Cities Composite Squadron. She has been an amazing addition to our team, as one of few female Cadets in our Squadron she has blended in seamlessly and has been a great resource and role-model for our younger Cadets. Lt. Vassios will be staying in the area attending UW-Fox Valley to complete her core classes before auditioning at UW-Milwaukee to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre with the intent of continuing her musical career on Broadway!

Congratulations Lt. Vassios, we look forward to continuing to work with you at the Squadron while you finish classes close to home, and wish you luck on your future endeavors!

Cadet Second Lieutenant Lauren Vassios participating in the 2016 Wisconsin Wing Encampment

Cadet Second Lieutenant Lauren Vassios participating in the 2016 Wisconsin Wing Encampment

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Squadron News

Summer always brings change to a squadron, we get busy with training events and family vacations sometimes limit our numbers. This summer we have seen a different change; through the first 2 months of summer we have seen our Squadron grow with new members. Welcome to all of our new members, this is a great time to be part of the Fox Cities Composite Squadron!

Along with Squadron training events increasing in these warm months, National Cadet Special Activities (NCSA’s) explode in excitement this time of year. There have been many NCSA’s that have taken place already this summer; National Flight Academy held in Oshkosh was attended by Cadet Chief Master Sergeant (C/CMSgt) Jessick. C/CMSgt Jessick was able to pre-solo, which only leaves a few more required hours for him to receive his private pilot license. Model Aircraft & Remote Control Flight Academy also took place in Oshkosh in June, and was attended by C/CMSgt Niemi and during AirVenture (EAA) in July National Blue Beret will be attended by C/Second Lieutenant Vassios. To be able to attend any NCSA each Cadet must complete a Wing Encampment. June 25-July 2, Wisconsin Wing held Encampment at Volk Field Air National Guard Base. Cadets at various levels met from across the state with a common interest … learning leadership and teamwork, and having some fun along the way! Cadet Technical Sergeant Voelker, Cadet Master Sergeant Vassios, and Cadet Technical Sergeant Steeneporte attended the Cadet Development Course at Encampment. While Cadet Technical Sergeant Bastian, Cadet Senior Airman Peroutka, Cadet Airman First Class Peroutka, Cadet Airman First Class Laudolff, Cadet Airman White, Cadet Airman Schlaeger, Cadet Senior Airman Jerred, and Cadet Senior Airman Coulombe attended their first level of Encampment, Wisconsin Basic School. Their dedication and desire to excel within Civil Air Patrol is evident. If you are interested in learning more about the Cadet Special Activities that are offered throughout the U.S., please visit: There is also a Flickr account that shows the excitement of Encampment, if you are interested in seeing some of the “behind the scenes” fun, check out:

As mentioned in our previous blog post, summer also brings changes to a squadron in terms of graduating Cadets. Fox Cities Composite Squadron is currently preparing to bid farewell to another of our Cadet Staff members as former Cadet Commander, Cadet Second Lieutenant Michael Chanda begins his career in the United States Air Force. C/2d Lt. Chanda will be leaving the end of July for 7 weeks of basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. Upon completion of basic training, C/2d Lt. Chanda will be headed to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS for 72 days of advanced training to begin his military career as an Air Traffic Controller.

In preparation for C/2d Lt. Chanda’s departure FCCS held a Cadet Change of Command Ceremony on, 5 July 2016. Cadet 2d Lieutenant Michael Chanda passed on Command to his younger brother, Cadet 2d Lieutenant Jacob Chanda. 2d Lt J. Chanda has been with CAP for 4 years and has attended various training events in order to grow his leadership skills. While we look forward to C/2d Lt Jacob Chanda’s leadership within our squadron, we will all miss Lt. Michael Chanda’s willingness to help and infectious smile. Please help me in wishing Michael Chanda well on his new adventure … Godspeed Lt. Michael Chanda and we look forward to an occasional visit when you find yourself back this way!


As July continues on our Squadron is looking forward to our work with Brennand Airport – EAA Chapter 41, EAA – Airventure, continued training opportunities, and welcoming new members! Stay tuned for some exciting times …

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A Busy Summer for FCCS

June has already escaped us; with only six days left we will have found July already. Our Squadron has been busy with Parades, training, new Cadets, and Encampment.

11 June, Fox Cities along with Brown County Senior Squadron and Door County Composite Squadron marched in the Appleton Flag Day Parade.

It was hot, but we stood proud, looked great, and had an excellent time. Following the parade members were able to have some down time and enjoy a picnic in the park with games, great food, and even better company.

We have had a few Cadets participating in National Cadet Special Activities; National Flight Academy in Oshkosh, Model Aircraft & Remote Control Flight Academy also in Oshkosh, and this week Cadets are attending Wisconsin Wing Encampment. Cadets will take part in a week long training; learning leadership skills, drill and ceremony, and meeting new friends from all over the State!

Summer also brings High-School Graduations, which mean change within every Squadron. Last Tuesday, we had to bid farewell to Cadet Staff Sergeant Gossen as he prepares to leave for an appointment with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Gossen has been with our Squadron for roughly two years and we will greatly miss his positive attitude. God Speed Gossen and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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