Fox Cities Cadets attend Aerospace Education Weekend in Oshkosh

Picture and article by C/2d Lt Matthew Niemi

Oshkosh, Wi- Approximately 84 Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members from 12 different units around the state attended Aerospace Education Weekend on September 8-10. This STEM-based weekend held annually at the CAP National Education and Training Center located at Wittman Field in Oshkosh. Fox Cities cadets spent the weekend exploring the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in aerospace as well as experiencing aviation first hand. Cadets conducted experiments with hot air balloons, paper airplanes, model rockets, and more. Experiments and training opportunities like these help members learn about the science and engineering that goes into space travel and flight. The annual weekend has been held for more than 20 years. Congratulations to Cadet Airman Sellers for completing the model rocketry program and earning his model rocketry badge during the weekend. We also had two cadets attend as staff members. Cadet Second Lieuteanant Bastian served as Bravo Flight Commander, and Cadet Second Lieutenant Niemi served as Cadet Public Affairs Officer (PAO).

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Summer Wraps up with Wisconsin Wing Encampment

The main highlight for the month of August would have to be encampment. This is a week of training for the cadets to develop their skills. During this week Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2d Lt) Matthew Niemi attended as Squadron 2’s Cadet Executive Officer/ First Sergeant. His job was to make sure his squadron ran as smoothly as possible, such as washing the squadron laundry or checking on the flight commanders. “It was an awesome experience watching the cadets grow through the week” stated Niemi. Cadets that staffed alongside Niemi include, C/2dLt Jacob Chanda as a flight commander, and Cadet Colonel (C/Col) Evan Thomsen as the Encampment Cadet Commander.

Cadet Senior Master Sergeant (C/SMSgt) Karl Steenepoorte attended the Wisconsin Cadet Academy (WCA). This is a second year school available to cadets attending Wisconsin Wing encampment. It is a high intensity, high stress week that focuses on testing your leadership skills while under pressure to ensure you have the capability of responsibly handling a flight of basic cadets at an encampment as staff. This year also included a Region Cadet Leadership Course, credit for which is necessary for promotion to Cadet Major. Steenepoorte stated “The biggest takeaway I had from WCA was how to deal with stress, and understanding my personality along with those around me. At WCA, when you make a mistake, you know right away since the instructors immediately start “yelling” at you for your mistake. Freezing like a deer in the headlights is not an option, and you must quickly make a decision.”

Sergeant Steenepoorte also stated “Cadets who haven’t attended WCA believe that it is “the worst week ever”, and that is just not true. As long as you can keep your head up when under pressure, and be able to listen to the criticism, you will do fine. The first few days are the hardest, but if you learn from your mistakes and those of others, the week will go by quickly.” Along with Sergeant Steenepoorte, C/2dLt Isaiah Bastian also attended WCA.

Finally C/Amn Jack Weaver attended basic encampment. Throughout the week Weaver said he learned many things such as customs and courtesies, making his bed, and wearing his uniform to perfection as well as correcting others uniform. He said that he made so many new friends and that he hopes to attend encampment next year. Cadet Airman First Class (C/A1C) Josef Aschenbrenner also attended basic encampment, during the week C/Aschenbrenner’s determination and commitment to helping fellow Cadets was recognized by him receiving Honor Cadet of the week for his Squadron.

~ Cadet Technical Sergeant Matthew Peroutka

C/2d Lt Bastian with Col Hunt

C/SMSgt Steenepoorte with Col Hunt

C/Amn Weaver with Col Hunt

C/Amn Aschenbrenner with Col Hunt

More pictures from Wisconsin Wing Encampment can be viewed on the Wings Flickr account at:

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No Meeting July 4th

Fox Cities Composite Squadron will not be holding a regular Tuesday evening meeting on July 4th.  We encourage all of our members (family and friends) to spend the day enjoying the Freedoms we have been granted!  Cook-outs, fireworks (safely!) and fun!

We will resume our Tuesday evening meetings on July 11th, and if you have been on the fence about joining us, we’d love to have you stop in!  Cadets begin with drill and ceremony practice at 6:30pm, with our regular opening ceremonies at 7:00pm.

Happy 4th of July!


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Cadet Staff Sergeant Peroutka Earns Solo Wings

Green Bay, WI – The Great Lakes Region (GLR) Powered Flight Academy was held at Wittman Field in Oshkosh the week of June 10-19.  This National Flight Academy is a rigorous flight instruction academy that takes Cadets through approximately 12 hours of ground school instruction with the goal of Cadets being able to solo in a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cessna 172 at the end of the week.

Green Bay native, Andrew Peroutka, a member of the Fox Cities Composite Squadron – Civil Air Patrol, was one of fifteen Cadets that were selected to attend this academy.  Peroutka along with fellow CAP Cadets spent approximately 5-6 hours per day observing or flying a Cessna 172 over the skies of Oshkosh and the Fox Cities.  Cadets practiced multiple take-offs, landings, patterns, and radio operations all with the end goal of being able to solo (or pre-solo).  Peroutka mentioned that, “the ground classes and days were long and you got a lot of information at once.”  He was able to complete his solo on Friday afternoon, being one of the Cadets that required the fewest hours to be ready.

Wisconsin Wing Civil Air Patrol had seven aircraft that were made available for this week-long learning experience. Civil Air Patrol flight instructors volunteer their time to these flight academies, with approximately eight flight academies held throughout the United States.  Cadets participating in the GLR Flight academy range in age from 16-19 and came from as far away as Puerto Rico, Alaska, and California.  With other Cadets coming from Utah, New Jersey, and Oklahoma.  Three Cadets, including Peroutka were from Wisconsin.

Since 1942, the volunteer members of Fox Cities Composite Squadron – Civil Air Patrol has been committed to advancing all of our members within our program offering training opportunities including; disaster relief, search and rescue, model rocketry, Cadet leadership, and aerospace/STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics) classes. For more information regarding Fox Cities Composite Squadron please feel free to visit our website at: or you can find us on Facebook at: We welcome anyone with interest to visit any of our meetings which are held Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm-9:00pm.

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Fox Cities Cadets partner with local Boy Scout troop

In early May the Cadets at Fox Cities Composite Squadron hosted the Boy Scout Troop 3161 for a night of “flying”!  As part of the Civil Air Patrol STEM kit program each Squadron is able to take advantage of a quad-copter STEM kit.  This specific kit comes with the electronics needed to build and fly the quad-copter!  Members from both groups assembled, and practiced flying the quad-copter in the closed hangar at Fox Cities Composite Squadron as well as participated in a little bit of drill and ceremony.  The Boy Scout Troop was lined up in a flight and our senior Cadets shared a little taste of CAP style drill.  It was an amazing evening of learning and sharing and a great time was had by all!

Civil Air Patrol is tasked by Congress to share Aerospace Education within our Communities and as a Squadron we look forward to these type of events!  STEM Kits are available to CAP Members as well as AE Members, which can include homeschool groups, teachers, or other educational groups.  For more information on becoming an AE Member please contact Fox Cities Composite Squadron or visit:


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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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