Recently the Peachtree City Falcon Field Composite (SER-GA-116) Squadron executed a change of command ceremony, during which Cadet Lt. Col. Hannah Neal relinquished command of the squadron to Cadet Maj. Willem Neal.
Falcon Field Composite Squadron Public Affairs Officer Candice Serafin said due to the COVID-19 crisis, the GA-116 squadron was required to cease in person meetings (normally located at Providence United Methodist Church) for a time and conduct all meetings online—not an easy task due to the over 140 cadets currently in the squadron. The change of command ceremony was performed in an online setting.
Also present during the change of command ceremony was the CAP National Vice Commander, Brig. Gen. Edward Phelka, CAP Southeast Region Commander Col. Andrea Van Buren and CAP Georgia Wing Commander, Col. Jeffrey Garrett.
“The change of command ceremony is a tradition in Civil Air Patrol signifying the relinquishing of command by the outgoing commander and the taking over of command and responsibilities by the incoming commander,” Serafin said. “This passing of responsibility from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander is visualized by the transferring of the unit flag from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander in addition to the verbal acknowledgement by both parties of the change of command.”
Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and as such is a valued member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).
CAP performs about 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 82 lives annually.
CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.
Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM/aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.