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NC Wing Holds Fall Ranger Training Weekend

RTW 2018 group photo
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The 2018 North Carolina Ranger Training Weekend attendees. Photo Credit: Lt Col Morgan Torp-Pedersen, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Over 200 CAP members attend training in Mount Airy, NC

11/6/2018––Over 200 Civil Air Patrol members from the Middle East Region, the Northeast Region, the Southeast Region, the North Central Region and the Great Lakes Region gathered on 2-4 Nov 2018 for the North Carolina Wing's exciting Ranger Training Weekend (RTW). The RTW was held at Camp Raven Knob in Mount Airy, NC. 

The weekend was full of training with members learning wilderness search and rescue skills, ground team member tasks and Ranger qualification tasks. Specific training included orienteering, navigating terrain, tracking Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), search and rescue techniques, knot tying, and surviving frigid weather conditions not commonly found in the Eastern North Carolina area. 

Major Jason Cheek, the RTW School Commander stated, "We had a great event, with members attending from 8 Wings across 5 Regions to come to a weekend event in North Carolina with all of them asking the same question before heading home: ‘when are we doing this again so we can come back?’  I think that in and of itself speaks to the quality of training that we conduct. This was also our first time (of many I hope) conducting the training weekend at the Camp Raven Knob Scout Reservation. The facilities, amenities, but most especially the camp staff were light years beyond anywhere else we’ve been previously, so I want to especially thank them for their hospitality and we look forward to continuing to grow the now well-founded positive relationship we have with them. 

For this weekend we changed a few things up, such as building the staff around the students instead of the other way around, to improve the student/instructor ratio - especially for students in the basic courses.  We also had a few advanced students pass the requirements to be nationally credentialed as Search & Rescue Technicians through NASAR and we successfully ran the first ever Field Medic Bridge Course, where a handful of members with prior emergency medical training were able to complete the requirements to be Field Medics in the Ranger Program. We also brought back Sierra (Senior Basic Course). Sierra students learn the same material as the Cadet Basic Course but with added introductory GTL subject matter and at a faster pace geared towards adult learners. We are going to add a new Team Commander's course in the spring (Tango), where GTL’s and GTL Trainees will be put through their paces running back to back to back short sorties in rotating leadership positions to hone their skills in small unit leadership, land navigation, search tactics, communications and so on. By adding this course to the list of offerings, not only do we seek to train new tactically and technically proficient GTL’s, we also want to take already qualified GTL’s and make them better. In addition, we will still have the Aircrew Survival Course available for any of the folks from that side of the house that want to spend a weekend learning how to survive and thrive in a wilderness environment should they ever become stuck in one. We didn’t have any registrations for that course this past weekend, but it is there, and will remain there, so that we can train/service the broadest possible member base. 

There are also multiple ICP training opportunities available as well for members wishing to shadow and learn from top notch staff members in those positions as their deputies, e.g. IC, MSO, PIO, PSC, OSC, FASC, LSC, GBD, etc.  

Lastly I want to thank the RTW staff for doing a superb job this past weekend – your hard work provides our members, especially our cadets, a premiere leadership learning lab in a challenging field environment and provides quality wilderness SAR training to everyone who attends. Your efforts and talents make the NC Wing Ranger School like nothing else out there. I’m already looking forward to working with all of you again for the 2019 Spring RTW, which is set for 5-7 April 2019 back at Camp Raven Knob.” 


Additional information was provided for this article by Lt Col Morgan Torp-Pedersen, RTW PIO.  More photos of the event are posted at: