CWUAir Force NewsAir Force Newshttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/newsen-usSupport the 33rd Annual POW/MIA 24-Hour Senior Vigil set for Friday/November 11thhttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2518Thu, 10 Nov 2022 10:18:55<p style="margin:0in 0in 8pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:normal"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p style="margin:0in 0in 8pt"></span style="font-size:11pt"></span style="line-height:normal"></span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">36th Rescue Squadron to Present On-Campus Demonstration Wednesday/4 May 2022https://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2513Wed, 04 May 2022 09:38:45<p>By David Leder</p> <hr /> <p><img alt="cwu-36th rescue squadron helicopter-main" src="https://www.cwu.edu/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/images/cwu-36th%20rescue%20squadron%20helicopter-main.png" style="width: 500px; height: 280px; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px;" /></p> <p>Central Washington University&rsquo;s Air Force ROTC will be welcoming a special guest to the Ellensburg campus on Wednesday, May 4 @ 3:00PM, Music Building Lawn.</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fairchild.af.mil/Information/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/239005/36th-rescue-squadron/">36th Rescue Squadron</a> from Fairchild Air Force Base will arrive via helicopter at 3 p.m. on the lawn outside of the McIntyre Music Building on the east end of campus, and the service members will give a short demonstration to the campus community.</p> <p>Anyone is welcome to attend the demonstration, which will be hosted by members of CWU&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cwu.edu/airforce/">AFROTC Detachment 895</a>. The guests from the 36th Rescue Squadron (aka &ldquo;36 RQS&rdquo;) will discuss what they do and provide tours of the helicopter.&nbsp;</p> <p>The 36 RQS supports the Air Force&rsquo;s Survival School training through hands-on helicopter operations. Training for more than 4,000 students per year is conducted at Fairchild, located near Spokane, while the helicopter is stationed at a field location in the Colville National Forest, about 60 miles north.</p> <p>The school&rsquo;s flight operations include live rescue hoist training, Paradrop demonstrations, and combat rescue procedures training for students in the basic Combat Survival Course. The 36 RQS also supports the National Search-and-Rescue (SAR) Plan by conducting SAR and medical evacuation missions in a four-state region, from the Cascades in Washington to the Rockies in western Montana.&nbsp;</p> <p>The unit&rsquo;s unique capabilities often are the difference between life and death for lost or injured hikers, hunters, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The 36 RQS has an exemplary record of humanitarian assistance in lifesaving SAR operations, responding to more than 200 requests for assistance and saving more than 140 lives since 2001.&nbsp;The squadron responds to an average of 10-15 calls for assistance each year, and has been credited with saving more than 700 lives since its inception in 1971.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you have questions about Wednesday&rsquo;s on-campus event, call 509-963-2314 or email&nbsp;afrotc@cwu.edu.&nbsp;</p> <p>Media Contact:&nbsp;David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,&nbsp;David.Leder@cwu.edu, 509-963-1518</p> Air Force ROTC Detachment 895's Annual POW/MIA 24-Hour Senior Vigil Continues Long-Standing Traditionhttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2512Tue, 10 Nov 2020 11:53:08<p>Th<img alt="" src="/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/POW%20MIA%20banner.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 120px; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px;" />e Air Force ROTC Detachment 895&#39;s Class of 2022 continues the long-standing tradition of hosting the Annual POW/MIA 24-Hour Senior Vigil in front of Lind Hall - South Lawn Area (Next to University Way). It will begin with an Opening Ceremony at midnight on Wednesday/November 10 and conclude with a Closing Ceremony at midnight on Thursday/November 11, Veterans Day. Each of the five Air Force ROTC Cadets will rotate shifts and stand guard over a POW/MIA Memorial. Also, an Air Force ROTC POW/MIA 24-Hr. Senior Vigil Banner will be proudly displayed across University Way from 8-14 November. This event honors POW and MIA personnel for their service, courage, sacrifice and their families, that they are not forgotten.</p> Chairs of Honor Unveiled to Honor CWU Military Herohttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2511Tue, 16 Apr 2019 15:36:11<p><img alt="Chair of Honor at CWU courtesy of the San D. Francisco Awareness Campaign, " src="https://www.cwu.edu/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/Honor%20chair.jpg" style="width: 301px; height: 500px; margin: 3px; float: right;">A pair of chairs from the POW/MIA (Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action) “Chair of Honor” Program have been unveiled at CWU in honor of United States Air Force Major San DeWayne Francisco.</p><p>The chairs were donated to CWU by the non-profit <a href="http://www.sdfawareness.org/" target="_blank">San D. Francisco Awareness Campaign</a>, while the ceremony was organized and sponsored by the CWU Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program. Each POW/MIA Chairs of Honor chair remains empty as a perpetual reminder that while the service members is not here, there is always a space for each of them. When the honor chairs are initially placed, a dedication ceremony is held.</p><p>“The ceremony was especially significant to us because the chair was given in dedication to Major Francisco, who was a member of our detachment,” said Lt. Col. Mark Meier, professor and chair of CWU aerospace studies and the university’s Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) Detachment 895 commanding officer. “It’s important that cadets—and all members of the CWU community—remember the sacrifices our predecessors have made in the defense of our country and to support the continued search for their remains until all our service members are returned home.”</p><p>Francisco, from Kennewick, graduated in 1966 from Central Washington State College. He also was a standout wrestler and was inducted into CWU Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1963 football team.</p><p>Francisco died tragically two-years after graduating during the Vietnam War. A fighter pilot, he was shot down just six days before he was scheduled to return home, while flying a reconnaissance mission for which he volunteered to replace another aviator who had become ill.</p><p>Francisco’s remains still lie in a Vietnamese jungle. He’s the only Vietnam-era Kittitas County service member who has not yet been returned. During site excavation efforts the last two year, evidence was found consistent with where it’s believed Francisco’s remains are buried. Ankle deep water ended last year’s effort. Site excavation is expected to resume next month and continue into June.</p><p>“The recovery is taking longer than anticipated, but I feel the outcome will be good and we’ll be able to bring him home,” said Terri Francisco-Ferrell, Francisco’s sister, who attended the unveiling event. “San was truly a hero.”</p><p>Francisco-Ferrell helps direct the San D. Francisco Awareness Campaign, which was formed by colleagues, family, and friends to spearhead Francisco’s retrieval and return. It also provides educational assistance to the CWU Air Force ROTC Detachment 895 Book Tuition Program.</p><p>The Chair of Honor Program, a project of the POW/MIA-support organization <a href="http://www.rtnych3.com/honor-chair-program.html" target="_blank">Rolling Thunder</a>, is designed to offer daily reminders in cities and towns across the country of the nation’s prisoners of war and those still missing In action that have not returned from their service.</p><p>One of the new chairs will remain in Lind Hall, the home to CWU’s award-winning Air Force and Army ROTC detachments, while the second will be in the <a href="http://www.cwu.edu/veterans/" target="_blank">CWU Veterans Center</a> in Bouillon Hall.</p><p>“The veterans’ community here—on campus and throughout Kittitas County—and across the country for that matter often have events that honor POWs and MIAs, including ‘missing man’ table ceremonies,” said Ruben Cardenas, Veterans Center director. “We’re honored to now have an official chair that we can—and will—use at our events like that to recognize San and his fellow POWs and MIAs.”<br><br>The CWU Brooks Library Archives and Special Collections is also now coordinating with the CWU Air Force ROTC detachment on digitizing material related to Francisco’s story. That collection will comprise part of a public display, which will soon be made available.</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Mitchell Vandeman, CWU Public Affairs, (360) 710-5987, vandemanm@cwu.edu</p><p><strong>Photos (below): </strong>Francisco in fighter cockpit. Excavation area in Vietnam where it's believed the remains may be located (courtesy of the&nbsp;San D. Francisco Awareness Campaign)</p><p><img alt="Francisco in jet cockpit" src="https://www.cwu.edu/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/San%20DFrancisco%20in%20plane.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 302px; margin: 3px;"></p><p><img alt="" src="https://www.cwu.edu/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/Francisco%20burial%201.jpg" style="width: 502px; height: 301px; margin: 3px;"></p></br></br>CWU Air Force & Army ROTC Programs to Host Annual PDR Event on Friday, April 19th! https://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2510Thu, 11 Apr 2019 10:37:45<p>Central Washington University's Air Force and Army ROTC Programs are hosting the 31st Annual Presidential Day Retreat (PDR) and Awards Presentation on Friday, April 19th at 1:00 p.m., CWU Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) Theatre.&nbsp; This joint ROTC event consists of a guest speaker, awards presentation and informal reception following event.&nbsp; Representatives from local, state, national societies/organizations will present over 80+ ROTC Awards and Scholarships highlighting cadets and their accomplishments.&nbsp; Official Reviewing Party includes:&nbsp; Dr. James Gaudino, University President; Dr. Katherine Frank, Provost/VP for Academic and Student Life; Dr. Paul Ballard, Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies and Military Coordinator for CWU; Dr. Heidi Henschel Pellett, Associate Dean, College of Education and Professional Studies; Lieutenant Colonel Mark Meier, USAF, Commander, Department Chair and Professor of Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC Detachment 895 - Cascade Cowboys); and, Major Bonnie Kovatch, USA, Department Chair and Professor of Military Science (Army ROTC - CWU Wildcat Battalion).&nbsp; Air Force and Army ROTC Program highly encourage everyone to come out and show their support!&nbsp; Admission is free and open to public.&nbsp; For further details--contact Kendra Sterkel, Program Coordinator at (509) 963-2314.</p>CWU Air Force ROTC to hold solemn Veterans Day vigilhttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2509Thu, 08 Nov 2018 10:49:02<p>For the 29th consecutive year, CWU’s award-winning Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) senior class will commemorate Veterans Day with a tribute to America’s prisoners of war (POW) and others missing in action (MIA) during a 24-hour Veterans Day vigil.</p><p>It begins at midnight on Veterans Day with a brief ceremony that will include a performance of “Taps,” the distinctive bugle refrain often heard at military memorial events.<br><br>During this year’s vigil, the detachment’s 14 senior cadets will live in spartan conditions in a tent outside the AFROTC’s facilities in Lind Hall, on the Ellensburg campus. The event provides member of the Cascade Cowboys with an opportunity to “honor POW and MIA personnel—their service, courage, and sacrifice—and remind, especially their families, that they are not forgotten,” said Cadet First Lieutenant Lauren Letarte, a senior from Tucson, Arizona, who is organizing the vigil as the detachment’s Plans and Programs Officer.<br><br>During rotating shifts throughout the vigil, participating cadets will stand guard over a memorial to their comrades. Other cadets will staff an information table, with memorabilia of significance to POW/MIA families, and provide other information.<br><br>“When I started here as a freshman, I went to the vigil, saw the memorial, and realized that this is a big event,” Letarte recalled. “I saw the pride that the senior class had in it and I’ve looked forward to attending the vigil over the past few years. Now, participating and being a part of it is very special.”<br><br>CWU and all Kittitas County community members are welcome to view the displays during the vigil, visit with cadets, or simply honk their car and truck horn as they pass to indicate their support.<br><br>The <a href="http://www.dpaa.mil/" target="_blank">U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency</a> lists more than 82,000 members of the U.S. armed forces as still unaccounted for from past conflicts, back to World War II.</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, loweryr@cwu.edu</p><p><strong>Note:</strong> This year marks the 100th anniversary of what is generally recognized as the end of World War I, with an armistice—a formal agreement to end the fighting—which took effect at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.<br><br>The United States began officially observing Armistice Day, which honors the service of all U.S. military veterans, in 1938. In 1954, the annual public holiday was renamed Veterans Day, which takes place this Sunday, November 11.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>POWs/MIAs remembered during CWU Air Force ROTC vigilhttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2507Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:18:54<p><img alt="" src="/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/POW%20MIA%20banner.jpg" style="width: 400px; margin: 3px; float: right; height: 240px;">More than 82,000 members of America’s military are unaccounted for from past conflicts, dating back to World War II.&nbsp; That is the figure listed by the United States Defense Department’s Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office.</p><p>Central Washington University’s award-winning Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) detachment will honor prisoners of war (POW) and others missing in action (MIA) during its 24-hour Veterans Day vigil. It takes place beginning Friday, November 10, at midnight and continues through midnight on Veterans Day.</p><p>During the vigil, the detachment’s 12 senior cadets will live in spartan conditions in a tent near McConnell Hall, on the Ellensburg campus. The event, being held for the 28th consecutive year, provides member of the Cascade Cowboys with, “an ability to be part of something bigger than just this detachment, and bigger than just the Air Force as a whole,” said detachment Plans and Programs Officer Michael Reid, a junior from Portland, Oregon.</p><p>“It’s our ability to give back and provide awareness of prisoners of war and missing in action personnel,” added Reid, who is organizing the vigil.</p><p>Throughout it, participating cadets will stand at attention, during rotating 20-minute silent shifts. They will stand guard over a memorial set up to honor those who are “not forgotten.”</p><p>“We’re not doing this for ourselves,” Reid stated. “We doing this to bring awareness and support for the POW/MIA mission.”&nbsp;</p><p>Other cadets, not “on duty,” will staff the table, featuring memorabilia of significance to POW/MIA families, and provide additional information. CWU and all Kittitas County community members are encouraged to view the displays during the vigil, visit with cadets, or honk their vehicle horns as they drive by to indicate support for the participants.</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu</p>New Commander Lands to Pilot CWU’s Aerospace Studies Programhttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2506Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:47:09<p><img alt="" src="/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/Mark%20Meier%20CWU%20USAF%20cmdr.jpg" style="width: 242px; height: 300px; margin: 3px; float: right;">United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark Meier has landed in Ellensburg to lead the CWU Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC), Detachment 895.</p><p>In his new post, Meier a fighter pilot and pilot trainer, assumes responsibility for the recruiting, education, training, selection, and commissioning of officer candidates through the award-winning CWU program.</p><p>“I love the mountains and being close to the coast—it’s an environment I was looking for,” Meier explained as to some the reasons he sought the assignment. “This also provided me an opportunity to be a commander that I would not have had if I had stayed in the cockpit.”</p><p>In addition, he will serve as a professor within and chair of the <a href="https://www.cwu.edu/programs/aerospace-studies" target="_blank">Department of Aerospace Studies </a>within the <a href="http://www.cwu.edu/education-professional-studies/" target="_blank">College of Education and Professional Studies</a> with university status as a full professor.</p><p>“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is working with new recruits; enthusiastic students who are not yet in the military and motivating them toward a career,” Meier added. “I want to help guide and inform them, and serve as a mentor, to help them make decisions that are both good for them and the United States Air Force as well.”</p><p>He will also lead the 40 recruits and returning cadet-wing members into the Air Force ROTC’s new facilities in the remodeled Lind Hall, on the CWU campus.</p><p>“This [building] brings the cadets closer to campus, so it’s more convenient to attend our classes and to-and-from their other university classes,” Meier noted. “That’s a big advantage, and will make it much easier for them.”</p><p>For both the returning students and those joining the program this year, they are studying at a time of increased need for personnel, in a variety of aviation roles, and to fill a void for Air Force pilots.</p><p>“It’s a career that I thoroughly enjoyed,” Meier acknowledged. “Our graduates get great hands on training in their assigned careers and a guaranteed job after graduation. And the Air Force ROTC offers scholarship opportunities for qualifying new and returning students that can help with college expenses.”</p><p>Meier was commissioned in 1996 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. For the past six years, he has been the Assistant Director of Operations and a pilot instructor at Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB), in Texas. He has held positions in weapons and tactics, and scheduling for fighter squadrons at Elmendorf AFB, in Alaska; as a training officer and flight commander in reconnaissance at Nevada’s Creech AFB; and fighter pilot, pilot instructor, and evaluator at Langley AFB, Virginia; along with for the North Dakota Air National Guard, in Fargo.</p><p>During his time of service, Meier has received numerous honors, including an Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2013.</p><p>Since being founded in 1951, the CWU AFROTC “Cascade Cowboys” detachment has established a track record of outstanding success, including receiving the AFROTC Northwest best detachment “Region Right of Line” unit award twice, and earning top Pacific Northwest honors in the AFROTC Standard Bearer Competition, which evaluated knowledge and skills of unit cadets.</p><p>It is one of 145 units located on colleges and universities across the country, which develop leaders in preparation to be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force.</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu</p><p><strong>Photo:</strong> USAF Lieutenant Colonel Mark Meier</p><p>Friday, August 4, 2017</p>CWU ROTC Programs to Host 29th Annual Presidential Day Retreat (PDR) & Awards Presentationhttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2505Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:25:50<p>Central Washington University's Army and Air Force ROTC Programs are hosting the 29th Annual Presidential Day Retreat (PDR) and Awards Presentation on Friday, May 12th at 1:00 p.m., CWU Tomlinson Stadium/Football Field.&nbsp; This joint ROTC event consists of a full military-style parade, guest speaker, awards presentation and informal reception following event.&nbsp; Representatives from local, state, national societies/organizations will present over 89+ ROTC Awards and Scholarships highlighting cadets and their accomplishments.&nbsp; Official Reviewing Party includes:&nbsp; Dr. James Gaudino; Dr. Paul Ballard, Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies; Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Ackiss, USA, Department Chair and Professor of Military Science (Army ROTC - CWU Wildcat Battalion); and, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Warr, USAF, Commander, Department Chair and Professor of Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC Detachment 895 - Cascade Cowboys).&nbsp; Air Force and Army ROTC Program highly encourage everyone to come out and show their support!&nbsp; Admission is free and open to public.&nbsp; For more details--contact Kendra Sterkel, Program Coordinator at (509) 963-2314.</p><p><a href="/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/PDR%20Invitation%202017_V2%20%281%20Mar%2017%29.pdf">/airforce/sites/cts.cwu.edu.airforce/files/PDR%20Invitation%202017_V2%20%281%20Mar%2017%29.pdf</a></p>CWU Air Force ROTC cadets to host annual POW/MIA 24-hour senior vigilhttps://www.cwu.edu/airforce/node/2501Wed, 09 Nov 2016 15:26:52<p>This year will mark the 27th consecutive Veterans Day that the Central Washington University Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) senior class will honor the country’s prisoners of war (POW) and others missing in action (MIA.</p><p>The 24-hour vigil, which commemorates those who are ‘Gone, but not Forgotten,’ begins Thursday, November 10, at midnight and continues through midnight on Veterans Day. During the vigil, cadets will live in meager conditions in a tent near McConnell Hall.<br>&nbsp;<br>“The annual vigil is a time for cadets to show their support for not only POWs and MIAs but for all veterans,” said Maj. Michael Phipps, CWU Air Force ROTC director of operations. “The POW/MIA flag states ‘you are not forgotten’ and this vigil stands as a reminder for everyone to take a minute to think about those who have served or are still serving in the armed forces.”<br>&nbsp;<br>This year’s vigil will conclude with a candlelight ceremony Friday at 11:45 p.m., which will feature members of the CWU music department performing Taps. CWU and all Kittitas County community members are encouraged to view the POW/MIA displays throughout the vigil and visit with participating cadets.<br>&nbsp;<br>Phipps noted that both CWU’s Air Force and Army ROTC cadre members will be represented and participate in the Ellensburg Veterans Day Parade.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br><strong>Media contact:&nbsp;</strong>Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,&nbsp;Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>