July 03, 2020, 04:22:54 pm

Message from Gen Smith

Started by OldGuy, March 19, 2020, 08:50:49 pm

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OldGuy

Fellow Civil Air Patrol Volunteers and Staff -

We're all being bombarded by messaging from divergent sources. News
broadcasts, friends, social media, everyone has an opinion, a factoid, or a perspective to
share. The uncertainly of the rapidly evolving situation leads to great anxiety because we
feel helpless and ill-equipped to fight an invisible foe.

The magnitude of anxiety being experienced across the United States, indeed
worldwide, reminded me of something that Thomas Paine wrote in December 1776
during another period of uncertainly. Slightly modified, here is the opening line: "These
are the times that try men's [and women's] souls."

Yes, I thought, these are most challenging and unsettled times. Very trying
indeed, but we've been here before. I thought about the historical context when Paine
wrote his essay - the colonies had recently declared their independence. Hope was high,
but the reality they lived in was the oppressive times of the Revolutionary War. The odds
must have seemed insurmountable that the colonies would prevail, yet perseverance and
grit won out despite the turmoil of that period.

What also came to my mind was the historical period when Civil Air Patrol was
founded - the dark days just prior to the start of World War II. Our World War II-era
adult and cadet volunteers also faced great uncertainty in their communities, states,
nation, and world stage. At the time no one would have been foolish enough to predict
the scope of the global crisis or could have imagined how it would pull a nation together,
yet it did and we're a better, stronger nation for it.

We have now entered another period of great uncertainty across this great nation
of ours. Our new nemesis, coronavirus, is causing fundamental changes to the very
fabric of our society and how we interact in our world. Nonetheless, history has shown
that collectively we prevail through our strength of character and force of will.
So, how do we, members of Civil Air Patrol, fit in during this uncertain time?
After all, we're in the business of serving others and helping those in need. If you're like
me, sitting at home grates against my personality. Like you, I would like to get out there
and do something about this situation that moves the needle.
The good news is that there are mission requests slowly coming in that are
reasonable for us to support. As I write this, many agencies who rely on CAP for support
are assessing what they need before they ask for help. I expect more requests to come in
as time progresses. Rest assured that we will do our part to serve others while mitigating
and minimizing the risk to our members.

In the meantime, we must focus on adhering to the guidance I sent out on March
14th to ensure we remain healthy so that we can help others when called to do so. We will
maintain mission ready status so that we can execute assigned missions. We will support
one another in our respective units to ensure that our wingmen are holding up to the
pressures that we face in this crazy environment we find ourselves in. And we will
provide those in our communities with a shining example of calm professionalism and
excellence that Civil Air Patrol is known for.

We are all leaders, you and me. We all have a responsibility, through our selfleadership or leadership of others, to inspire, lift up, and motivate those around us. I truly
believe that the same grit, determination, and burning desire to serve others resides in you
as did those characteristics in our World War II-era Civil Air Patrol volunteers and the
patriots of the Revolutionary War. I know, that's a bold statement on my part, but it's a
statement straight from my heart. I have faith in you. I've seen what you're capable of
accomplishing, and it's confidence-inspiring. You well reflect the best of this amazing
organization that we are in. We will rise to the occasion. We will persevere like our
forebearers, we will conquer the challenges we face, and we will be a better, more
innovative organization as the result!

I am so very proud of each of you. Be safe, be well, take care of your wingmen,
and let's come out of this worldwide crisis an even stronger organization than we already
are. Share good news where you find it. Be positive. Be supportive. Be always vigilant;
we are One CAP.

Sincerely,
MARK E. SMITH
Major General, CAP

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot
will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now,
deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily
conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more
glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only
that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;
and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly
rated." Thomas Paine, Dec. 23, 1776

OldGuy

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, Civil Air Patrol National Commander and CEO, has issued a letter to members about "these ... most challenging and unsettled times" as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand.

CAP members' characteristic desire to serve their communities and their country will be fulfilled once requests for assistance materialize, Smith says, at which point "we will do our part to serve others while mitigating and minimizing the risk to our members."

"I have faith in you. I've seen what you're capable of accomplishing, and it's confidence-inspiring," he concludes. "You well reflect the best of this amazing organization that we are in. We will rise to the occasion. We will persevere like our forebearers, we will conquer the challenges we face, and we will be a better, more innovative organization as the result!"

Holding Pattern

I'm resending my local agency requests up the chain now.

PHall

Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 19, 2020, 09:19:34 pmI'm resending my local agency requests up the chain now.

You mean you weren't before?

Holding Pattern

Quote from: PHall on March 19, 2020, 10:51:14 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 19, 2020, 09:19:34 pmI'm resending my local agency requests up the chain now.

You mean you weren't before?

I'm not sure how you read that out of "re"sending...

PHall

So did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

JohhnyD

What I am hearing is that Wing after Wing is getting tasking requests fast and furious from their EOCs. The logjam broke and we can all expect work. Pray for everyone involved, as this is the weirdest enemy we have ever fought.

Holding Pattern

Quote from: PHall on March 20, 2020, 04:03:49 amSo did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

They were rejected.

CAP9907

Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 20, 2020, 06:15:42 am
Quote from: PHall on March 20, 2020, 04:03:49 amSo did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

They were rejected.
Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 20, 2020, 06:15:42 am
Quote from: PHall on March 20, 2020, 04:03:49 amSo did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

They were rejected.

What has changed to cause a reconsideration of your previous submittals?
21 yrs of service

Our Members Code of Conduct can be found here:   http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=13.0

Holding Pattern

Quote from: CAP9907 on March 20, 2020, 06:23:31 am
Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 20, 2020, 06:15:42 am
Quote from: PHall on March 20, 2020, 04:03:49 amSo did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

They were rejected.
Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 20, 2020, 06:15:42 am
Quote from: PHall on March 20, 2020, 04:03:49 amSo did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

They were rejected.

What has changed to cause a reconsideration of your previous submittals?

"Rest assured that we will do our part to serve others while mitigating
and minimizing the risk to our members."
-Gen Smith

CAP9907

Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 20, 2020, 06:36:48 am
Quote from: CAP9907 on March 20, 2020, 06:23:31 am
Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 20, 2020, 06:15:42 am
Quote from: PHall on March 20, 2020, 04:03:49 amSo did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

They were rejected.
Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 20, 2020, 06:15:42 am
Quote from: PHall on March 20, 2020, 04:03:49 amSo did you send them up before and have heard nothing back or were they rejected?

They were rejected.

What has changed to cause a reconsideration of your previous submittals?

"Rest assured that we will do our part to serve others while mitigating
and minimizing the risk to our members."
-Gen Smith

OK, so nothing then. The Risk Management is still off the charts and the mission is undefined at best. We should stand down as previously directed. Handing out school lunches, directing traffic, or other 'PAO' events puts our Members in situations that they are neither equipped or trained to execute.

Observe the CDC advise and stay home / stay safe.
21 yrs of service

Our Members Code of Conduct can be found here:   http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=13.0

Holding Pattern

Quote from: CAP9907 on March 20, 2020, 07:43:21 amOK, so nothing then. The Risk Management is still off the charts and the mission is undefined at best. We should stand down as previously directed. Handing out school lunches, directing traffic, or other 'PAO' events puts our Members in situations that they are neither equipped or trained to execute.

Observe the CDC advise and stay home / stay safe.

Can you tell us how it is that your risk assessment differs from the wings actually engaging in these missions?

CAP9907

Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 23, 2020, 04:51:13 pm
Quote from: CAP9907 on March 20, 2020, 07:43:21 amOK, so nothing then. The Risk Management is still off the charts and the mission is undefined at best. We should stand down as previously directed. Handing out school lunches, directing traffic, or other 'PAO' events puts our Members in situations that they are neither equipped or trained to execute.

Observe the CDC advise and stay home / stay safe.

Can you tell us how it is that your risk assessment differs from the wings actually engaging in these missions?

Sure. I'd start with CAPR 160-1, 3.2.1: Accept no unnecessary risk. Now, if I were running a mission with an actual missing aircraft or a lost/injured hiker, my RM would be different. But as I can see, CAP is doing 'comfort and assist' measures that can literally be done by any member of the public. It is not necessary for our trained members to assist and not worth the associated risks.

I'd also take a good look at CAPF 160 and if done correctly, the risks for these type of missions would fall into the 'high' level. In that case, the approval process needs to be kicked up to the CAP/CC level for approval. Perhaps this was done in these cases, perhaps not, I'm not there(ref sec. 3.4).

Note that this process goes from the bottom up, not in reverse. As a local IC, I would have recommended to my CC that we decline the mission assignment based on the above. What happens after that is obviously not within my purview, and your local mileage may vary.

~9907
21 yrs of service

Our Members Code of Conduct can be found here:   http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=13.0

Holding Pattern

Quote from: CAP9907 on March 23, 2020, 05:23:32 pmBut as I can see, CAP is doing 'comfort and assist' measures that can literally be done by any member of the public. It is not necessary for our trained members to assist and not worth the associated risks.


By that measure, when there is any other agency that can do the job, you'd decline an ES assignment?

CAP9907

Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 23, 2020, 05:33:47 pm
Quote from: CAP9907 on March 23, 2020, 05:23:32 pmBut as I can see, CAP is doing 'comfort and assist' measures that can literally be done by any member of the public. It is not necessary for our trained members to assist and not worth the associated risks.


By that measure, when there is any other agency that can do the job, you'd decline an ES assignment?

Not at all what I said, quote the entire line of thought: the risk for this event outweighs the benefits (if any) for THIS assignment.

~9907
21 yrs of service

Our Members Code of Conduct can be found here:   http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=13.0

Holding Pattern

Quote from: CAP9907 on March 23, 2020, 06:13:40 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on March 23, 2020, 05:33:47 pm
Quote from: CAP9907 on March 23, 2020, 05:23:32 pmBut as I can see, CAP is doing 'comfort and assist' measures that can literally be done by any member of the public. It is not necessary for our trained members to assist and not worth the associated risks.


By that measure, when there is any other agency that can do the job, you'd decline an ES assignment?

Not at all what I said, quote the entire line of thought: the risk for this event outweighs the benefits (if any) for THIS assignment.

~9907

But how would that differ for any other assignment where another agency already has the training and there is any risk?

PHall

CAP9907, if you're so sure that the "ORM was off the charts" why not ask to see California Wing's ORM form for the mission that is currently going on.
Do you really think the NOC would approve our participation in this mission if the risk was as high as you say it is?

CAP9907

Quote from: PHall on March 23, 2020, 06:24:34 pmCAP9907, if you're so sure that the "ORM was off the charts" why not ask to see California Wing's ORM form for the mission that is currently going on.
Do you really think the NOC would approve our participation in this mission if the risk was as high as you say it is?

Not needed, I've already seen their F-160. They classed this mission, dealing with the public during a pandemic as 'low risk'. When even taking an O-flight or taking a COV on the road could class as 'medium risk'. Obviously I'd have done the RM differently.

In the end it does not matter to me as it's not my Wing and not my mission, and my opinion is worth what you've paid for it.

~9907
21 yrs of service

Our Members Code of Conduct can be found here:   http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=13.0

JohhnyD

We are being asked, we are being tasked. Multiple missions are spinning up, we are reaching out in our community and being received well.

Sadly too many folks react as the few here did, "Not my problem, not my mission" and squelch the volunteer enthusiasm the used to be a hallmark of the CAP. Sorta sad to see the ORM negativity so dominant.

JayT

Quote from: JohhnyD on March 24, 2020, 12:51:58 amWe are being asked, we are being tasked. Multiple missions are spinning up, we are reaching out in our community and being received well.

Sadly too many folks react as the few here did, "Not my problem, not my mission" and squelch the volunteer enthusiasm the used to be a hallmark of the CAP. Sorta sad to see the ORM negativity so dominant.

I invite you to spend a day on my truck, in my platoon, where every call I'm sending my best friends and coworkers into situations where they may contract a disease that can drastically alter their lives and the lives of their families. Until YOU'RE willing to put on a mask thats been reused several times, and a hazmat suit not rated for biological exposure, I'm more the  willing to tell you exactly where you can place your "volunteer enthusiasm."

"Eagerness and thrill seeking in others' misery is psychologically corrosive, and is also rampant in EMS. It's a natural danger of the job. It will be something to keep under control, something to fight against."