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Group 3 Holds Emergency Services Training Weekend

cadet using compass
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C/2d Lt Aidan Thibodeaux using a compass at the Group 3 Emergency Services Training Weekend. Photo credit: 1st Lt Liz Dunster, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Pitt-Greenville Composite Squadron hosts ES training at Flanagan’s Field


Flanagan’s Field in Farmville was the site of Group 3’s Emergency Services training weekend on 17-18 November 2018, which was also the third group-wide emergency services training event of 2018. The focus of the weekend was on the Urban Direction Finding (UDF) qualification. 1st Lt Robert Rimmer, Group 3 Emergency Services Officer, organized the weekend hosted by members of the Pitt-Greenville Composite Squadron. Weather prior to the weekend was wet, but the weekend itself saw crisp, clear blue Carolina skies. Thirty seven members participated, 27 of whom were students, including members from four Group 3 squadrons. Eight squadrons from the North Carolina Wing were represented by both cadet and senior members.
On Friday, 16 November 2018, an advance party consisting of 1st Lt Robert Rimmer, Capt Brian Hecker, 2d Lt James Menke, 2d Lt Melita Bulluck and C/SrA Ryan Elks set up camp at the location, pitching tents and generally getting the large outdoor “classroom” ready for the participants and instructors who were to arrive on Saturday morning from 0800.
On Saturday, classes began at 1000 after the check-in of the participants, with the ground school portion of the UDF training. Members enjoyed MRE’s for lunch and dinner was home-made Shepherd’s Pie generously cooked by Senior Member Karina Randolph. After dinner, members sat around the fire cooking S’mores and discussing the day's training. Lights out was at 2300.
The group awoke to clear, chilly weather at 0700 on Sunday morning. Lt Rimmer organized delicious croissants for breakfast, as a good start to the day. Training began at 0830, with the first of the two practice missions. In the first, the training beacon was located in the vicinity of the tents. For the second, the members enjoyed a long but picturesque walk to the airfield, passing fields where horses, cows, donkeys and goats roamed. The beacon was successfully located on the person of an instructor at the airfield, by the various teams. Then it was time to return to base and pack up.
Many hours of advance preparation and planning are necessary for a weekend such as this to be successful in achieving its objectives. Capt Brian Hecker of the Pitt-Greenville Composite Squadron commended the leadership saying it was an “outstanding job of communicating and planning that Lt Rimmer and C/Lt Randolph did together to make their vision of what a group level ES Training Event would look like. This was the first time any of the Pitt-Greenville Squadron personnel were in charge of such an event of this size.” He went on to say that he was “very proud to be a part of this process by simply supplying what they requested.” He further commended C/2d Lt Randolph by saying that he was “impressed with how well C/Lt Randolph used her many contacts from several squadrons besides her own to put together such a well-suited staff to aid or lead the seniors instructing the individual breakout sessions. This was her first time leading a project this complex and she pulled it off with a natural grace and sense of control. True leadership talent applied very well. I expect more great things will come from this young officer.”
The event was well received by participants. Maj Rodney Cushing, Elizabeth City Composite Squadron Emergency Services Officer said, “We participated in the emergency services UDF weekend to update and train new qualifications for five of us from the Elizabeth City Squadron but came away with much more.” He went on to say that “two of our newer senior members got to become acquainted with Group leadership and folks from other Squadrons. Two members participated with staff as instructors. All of us got to put faces with names we had phoned or emailed. I enjoyed the preparation Pitt-Greenville put into the event training beyond just tasks but bringing it safely all together in an ICP-based Mission-focused operation.” Maj Kimberley Morton, Grp 3 Commander, said of it, “As a participant in the Group 3 UDF training weekend it was an honor to train with 4 of the 5 squadrons representing Group 3. I learned from some of NCWG's top cadets and seniors and I am looking forward to more training in the Spring.”
Lt Rimmer expressed appreciation to everyone who helped put the weekend together and who participated as instructors or students, especially Capt Adrian Carnes the NC Wing Emergency Services Training Officer Ground, who assisted him in some of the planning, provided essential communications gear, as well as being an instrumental instructor. Lt Rimmer also expressed appreciation for the leadership and hard work put into the weekend by C/2d Lt Randolph. 
Group 3 is looking forward to hosting their next emergency services training weekend in the Spring of 2019.