NEWS





December 16, 2016 | Squadron68 Christmas Party
6:30PM -Squadron 68 Base

December 16, 2016 | Star Wars Movie Rouge1
10:40pm Showing at Triangle Square in Costa Mesa.

December 10-11, 2016 | SAREX at Fullerton



December 10, 2016 at 10:00am | Laguna Niguel Christmas Holiday Parade
Also Celebrating The Civil Air Patrol's 75th Anniversary
Squadron 68 Will participate in the parade featuring a Float, Color Guard, and Fly-by

http://www.lagunaniguelparade.com/



November 12-13, 2016 | Rockstock! Cancelled
Launching rockets at Mach Speeds in Lucerne Valley. Meeting point at Squadron 68 Base Saturday at 5:00AM.


November 4-6, 2016 | California Wing 2016 Education Conference
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Bakersfield. 3100 Camino Del Rio, Ct, Bakersfield, CA. 93308, USA
http://www.cawgcap.org/members/events-submissions/calendar/g-8-8m3n155fgbk59118vcdh8la6ac_20161104


October 22, 2016 | Cyberpatriot Team Practice Round 1
Location: Team HQ


October 21-23 | Hungtington Beach Surf City Air Show
Featuring The United States Thunderbirds, Breitling Jets, and additional exciting aerospace performers. Squadron 68 to provide on site security.
12-4pm


June 10, 2015 | Inland Empire Group 3 Banquet
on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM (PDT)
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501


June 10, 2015 | Inland Empire Group 3 Banquet
on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM (PDT)
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501


#June 10, 2015 | Group 7 Trip to Vandenberg AFB
on Thursday June 25, 2015
All day trip.  Application Deadline:  Sunday June 14th.


#June 10, 2015 | ROCStock!
This is a weekend of launching model rockets! The event is June 13-14, 2015
Leave at 4 AM in morning on the 13th and camp out that evening and return by Sunday night.
Where: Lucerne Dry Lake Bed... To get there, simply navigate to 116° 58′ W; 34° 31′ N or contact your Commander of Officer for additional intel.

#June 10, 2015 |  Group 7/8 SAREX June 13/14, 2015

#April 17, 2015
|
Hello Squadron 68 seniors and cadet aircrew members.  Squadron 140 is hosting a mini-Sarex this Sunday which you are all invited to attend if qualified. 
For those interested in participating in the SAREX this weekend, contact LT. Dan Balderston from Squadron 140 at (714)  376-5242.

#April 14, 2015 | The Squadron68 Cadet Color Guard Won First Place in the Annual Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano.

#April 6, 2015
| G1000 and Becker direction finding equipment training hosted by Squadron 40 this Thursday night at Fullerton airport.


#March 23, 2015 | Captain Stallings will be attending CAP Check Pilot school on April 18 and 19.

#March 21, 2015 | Cadets and Senior Officers participated in the Annual Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano.
Squadron 68 was awarded a big trophy for outstanding performance.

#March 16, 2015 | On Friday April 10th starting at 12:00pm PST, Falcon Squadron 40 will be hosting the Civil Air Patrol Golf Tournament at Coyote Hills Golf Club, Fullerton, California. Please consult your commanding officer for details. This will be an excellent event with a Helicopter Ball Drop, Golf, Cart, Range Balls, Lunch and Dinner.

#March 8, 2015 | Captain Stallings provided orientation flights to Squadron 68 Cadets. 4 Cadets received front seat flights while another 4 cadets received back seat rides in Aircraft CAP 406, a Cessna 206 from John Wayne Airport.

#January 1, 2015#Thank you for your service in the Civil Air Patrol. Here are some highlights from Nationwide 2014.
CAP members flew 619 search and rescue missions and 1,053 missions for individual states. CAP was credited with 44 lives saved and 407 finds. In the aftermath of the Oklahoma Tornadoes, CAP ground teams photographed 13,000 home sites and other properties in Moore, where a monstrous EF5 tornado caused the most devastation.
Semper Vigilans

#Change of Command April 3, 2014
Squadron 68 would like to give a very special Thank You to Captain Chris George for his leadership, dedication, and outstanding service as our Squadron68 Commander.

Captain George is an outstanding leader and Pilot who has successfully lead Squadron 68 to be awarded Squadron of the year over the last 3 consecutive years and who's energy, charm, and intelligence has made a vibrant and valuable impact within the Civil Air Patrol, citizens of Southern California, and every member of our team here at SQ68. Chris, good luck in your new ventures!

Captain Kevin Lowther who has been an integral part of SQ68 and the Civil Air Patrol is officially the new Squadron 68 Commander and we are looking forward to an outstanding year with Captain Lowther piloting our team and continuing the success of our Squadron as a proactive local command within the Civil Air Patrol here in Southern California. Welcome to your new command Captain Lowther!


#SAREX March 29-30, 2014

#Cyberpatriot Team competes at State Level

#February 6, 2014-New awards and rank advancements to be take place at Squadron meeting.

#Cyberspace team advanced to round 2. Nice going!

Squadron68 Competes In Cyberpatriot National Cyber defense Competition.



CyberPatriot is the premier national high school cyber defense competition created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching d
isciplines critical to our nation’s future CyberPatriot is not a hacking competition. It teaches only defensive means of fixing vulnerabilities and hardening systems.

Round 1:

  • Nov. 15-17, 2013
  • Backup: Nov. 22-24, 2013
http://www.uscyberpatriot.org/Pages/default.aspx

This competition serves in line with the Civil Air Patrol mission as part of the promotion of air, space, and cyberspace. We are looking forward to the competition. Good luck SQ68!


#On October 5th, Squadron 68 participated in the Tustin Tiller Days Parade showcasing a fine local presence of the Civil Air Patrol.


 


DELTA IV TRIP A GREAT SUCCESS
33 travel to Vandenberg to see the world's largest rocket

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

August 28th, 2013

Vandenberg AFB - It's Oh-four-thirty, what's the Oh stand for?  Oh yeah, we're driving to see the world's largest rocket launch.  Four hours later the caravan of 5 vehicles arrived at the gate of Vandenberg AFB and waited to get escorted to the viewing area. 

While the launch pad was nine miles off in the distance, and over a hill, and there was fog, the group was still excited.  "The fog will lift, right?"  was heard several times leading up to the countdown.  Not only did the fog lift, but so did the Delta IV.

Situated right on the California central coast, Vandenberg AFB offers a great view for launches.  It doesn't get much better than overlooking the coastal mountain range and the Pacific ocean while watching a rocket take off.

As is a Squadron 68 tradition, the group traveled over to Solvang for lunch and Aebelskivers at the Solvang Restaurant.  For most of the group it was their first time ever having the Viking delicacy, and it certainly didn't disappoint.  

A great launch, wonderful food and good bonding with other members of the squadron.  You couldn't ask for a better outing than that.

Photos by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Squadron 68






 
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ALL ABOARD FOR THE USS MIDWAY MUSEUM
Plus great food and the Flying Leatherneck Museum

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

August 17th, 2013

San Diego - Continuing a busy summer schedule of aerospace related trips the cadets and senior members of the squadron headed south for two museums and some great BBQ.

The first stop was the USS Midway Museum.  Once aboard the famous aircraft carrier everyone was free to roam about and see all the sights.  Simulators, lots of planes from different eras during the Midway's long years of service from WWII to the Persian Gulf, and of course the ship itself from the bridge to the engine room and so much more.

The view from the deck of the great ship was outstanding.  Not only did you look down the length of the ship and see all the planes and 
helicopters, but you have a wonderful view of Downtown San Diego.  Across the bay two active aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan were in port as well.

Just walking distance away is one of the more famous eateries in San Diego.  Sight of the "Great Balls of Fire" bar scene from the movie "Top Gun" is the Kansas City BBQ restaurant.  Everyone was happy with their order, from beef brisket, to mac and cheese, this latest stop on the summer food tour certainly didn't disappoint.

To finish off the trip the group took a detour over to Miramar and the Flying Leathernecks Museum.  It was open cockpit day and everyone had the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of either an F-5 or F-18 then walk among the many great planes in Marine Corps history.

Filled with new knowledge and great food, Squadron 68 headed home.  Another great trip on a summer full of them.

Photos by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Squadron 68

 
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LA MUSEUM TRIP KICKS OFF A SUMMER OF AEROSPACE EDUCATION
Fort MacArthur and the Space Shuttle Endeavor highlight the trip

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

July 27th, 2013

Los Angeles - Squadron 68 started a summer full of aerospace education trips this weekend with a tour of some of the sights in Los Angeles.  Starting with Fort MacArthur, then the California Science Center and finishing with a Los Angeles iconic restaurant, Philippe's.

Everyone assembled for the caravan at 10 AM in Irvine, and off they went.  The group were the first visitors of the day to arrive at Fort MacArthur.  The Fort guarded the entrance to Los Angeles Harbor in the early 1900s through WWII.  A tour of the shore batteries, the bunkers and the real purpose for this stop, a Nike Ajax 
missile.  The Nike Ajax protected the Los Angeles area during the Cold War from the threat of Soviet bombers.  The squadron will be making a model of this rocket in 2014 to launch by the middle of the year.

Next up, the California Science Center.  The big draw is the new display of the Space Shuttle Endeavor.  It's in a temporary home at the museum right now, but certainly didn't disappoint.  Everyone was about to walk around and under the shuttle to see just how big this space craft is.  Cadets marveled at the ceramic tiles that shielded the astronauts from burning up in the Earth's atmosphere on re-entry as well as the size of the rocket nozzles at the aft end of the shuttle.

Also at the CSC was an SR-71 trainer, an F-20 and an F-5.  Some other space exhibits showing different space suits worn in the past and some of the earlier space capsules sparked conversation among the cadets and senior members from "How did they fit in that thing?" to "I remember when."

The final stop was Philippe's near Union Station.  It is said an army marches on it's stomach, and that's not far from the truth.  Squadron 68 will always find a way to get great food on an outing.  French dip sandwiches are what this eatery is known for, and in many varieties of meat.  Everyone was very pleased with their food, and with the spicy mustard too.

The weary travelers returned home after a failed attempt to get to the Griffith Observatory.  There was an emergency and the parking lot was shut down.  Everyone decided that the trip was a success already, so we'd save the observatory for another time.  Everyone finished off the day with desert at Dairy Queen and told stories of their adventure.  A great start to what is expected to be a busy and rewarding summer.

Photos by Capt Kevin E. Lowther and Maj Mike Hoover

Squadron 68
 
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NCOS FRESNO, NOT YOUR USUAL ILP WEEKEND
Fire, extreme heat and a long ride

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

July 21st, 2013

Fresno - Three cadets and one senior member set off to staff and learn from one of the Integrated Learning Programs in Civil Air Patrol, the Non-Commissioned Officer's School.  Normally members of Squadron 68 would attend such a school in Southern California, but determined that the timing was right to make the trek to the Central Valley.

The weather forecast for the weekend was in the 105-110 range, so it was already off to an ominous start.  As the travelers hit the Grapevine they were greeted with construction, lane closures and traffic.  Top that off with a brush fire at the north end of Grapevine and it made for a pretty miserable ride.  

Smoother sailing followed and several hours later everyone arrived in Fresno.  The three cadets were all assigned to different flights for the weekend training, so they had an opportunity to thrive without their usual compatriots around.  Classes ranged from how to give an effective presentation to how to lead PT (physical training) and how to drill a flight.

As the hot weekend came to an end the three cadets spent much of the car ride home discussing how to use their newfound knowledge to help the squadron to thrive.  Through all the obstacles, these three cadets came out with a greater understanding of what it means to be a great leader and were excited for what their future holds in Civil Air Patrol.

Photo by Barbara Lowther


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CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY
Squadrons 47 and 68 at the Lake Forest Parade

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Deputy Commander for Cadets

Saddleback Composite Squadron 68


July 4th, 2013


Lake Forest - It started out as a gloomy overcast day in Lake Forest.  That's a good thing on parade day, it keeps the street from heating up and making the parade route miserable for the marchers.  Gloomy overhead equals happy down below.


The Civil Air Patrol entry in this year's parade was led off by the Squadron 47 Color Guard.  They are the Pacific Region champions and are preparing for another trip to the National Championship later this month.  Right behind them was an 18 member drill team comprised of cadets from both Squadron 47 and 68.  It was the largest turn out ever  for a parade by the combined squadrons.  6 senior members walked the parade route too, answering questions about the program and passing out water to the cadets as the sun peaked out just before step off.


It was the 6th year attending this fantastic event and by far the most successful.


Photos by Maj Audrey DiGiantomasso

Squadron 47








 


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GO FOR LAUNCH
11 cadets brave the heat and earn their Rocketry Badges

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

August 11th, 2012

Lucerne Valley - What's a 100 degrees when you get to make things go fast and high?  The weather service predicted 100 degree heat in the high desert for the launch day.  After postponing the last 2 launches it was decided to launch no matter what.  And launch they did.

12 cadets and 3 senior members caravanned from Orange County to the Lucerne Dry Lake Bed to launch all of the rockets they needed in order to earn their Rocketry Badges.  For some, it was more than a year in waiting. Delays due to weather, illness and conflicting events had put a damper on the rocketry program at Squadron 68 over the past year.  All of that washed away in a morning of fun, food, and flames.

Meeting at 6 AM, the travelers made their way in 3 vehicles to Lucern Valley.  The first stop was Mollie's Kountry Kitchen for a breakfast that was as large as it was good.  

Back on the road for a few minutes and then off the highway to the launch site.  Very few people were at the launch compared to previous excursions, like RocStock or LDRS (Large Dangerous Rocket Ships.)  This worked out well as all of the cadets were able to launch, recover, prep and repeat to launch all 3 of the required rockets in just 2 hours.  Not only was it fantastic to get it done quickly, but it got the expedition back on the road and in the air conditioning before the mercury hit 100.

Before hitting the road for the journey home one last stop at the Lucern Valley Market for drinks.  Capt Pendergrass has heard that there was a hard-to-find iced tea at this location, the only place within a 200 mile radius of Orange County, so a stop had to be made.  Then on the road again for the drive home and a weary band could relax.

Several lessons were learned, many miles were covered and much fun was had.  You might even say that the day was a blast.

Photos by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Squadron 68



 



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ALL ABOARD
Cadets visit the USS Iowa, LAAFB, Orange Army/Navy Store and build rockets for a busy day

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

August 10th, 2012

San Pedro - The kick off to a busy weekend for Squadron 68 began with 5 cadets and 2 senior members visiting the newly opened USS Iowa battleship museum.

Comments from cadets when alongside the main guns of "The Big Stick" ranged from "Whoa." to "You can fit a person in there!"  While not the biggest guns on a battleship in WWII, they were certainly impressive.

The museum opened in July and there is still much to be done.  It was incredible to just be aboard such a distinguished vessel.  With the great ship just up the road this will certainly become a staple of trips for the squadron in the future.

The day was far from complete though.  This was also turned into a uniform trip.  After leaving the Iowa the group traveled to Los Angeles Air Force Base to pick up some much needed uniform items for the cadets that were along for the trip.  Lunch in the food court preceded going to the uniform section of the Base Exchange.  Cadets picked up shoes, jackets, shirt stays, covers, pants and several other items needed to be ready to wear their blues uniforms.

Major Hoover pointed out that since were were in the area, that it was a great opportunity to see some displays of aircraft at a restaurant around the corner.  Off to the Proud Bird it was.  A P-51 in Redtails paint scheme greeted the group in the parking lot.  Along with the P-51 were a F-4U Corsair and British Spitfire, and that was only the front of the restaurant.  In the back were a P-38, Bell X-1, Spad VIII in Eddie Rickenbacker paint scheme, ME-109, Mig 15 and several other great planes.  The squadron may have to make this a regular part of the uniform trips in the future.

Next it was off to the Orange Circle and the Army/Navy store for some BDU items.  Boots, covers, blousing bands, and machetes.  Ok, the machetes were left behind, but now a few more cadets are ready to wear their BDUs.  No trip to the Orange Circle is complete without a walk over to Watson's Drug Store for something to drink or snack on.  All forms of soda and candy that you can't find in most stores greeted the cadets.  Sugar rushes quickly also greeted the cadets.

Not done yet, the next stop was Lt Col Laisure's home to pick up rocketry supplies.  Motors, wadding, rockets, glue, etc all needed for the build that was to come and the launch the following day.

Finally the group arrived back at the base to eat pizza and prep all of the rockets for launch the next day.  33 rockets were prepped for launch as 7 more cadets met up at the base to get prepared.

A very busy day, with another to come in a very productive weekend for Squadron 68.

Photos by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Squadron 68

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TAKE THEM OUT TO THE BALLGAME
Squadron Color Guard presents the colors for Padres vs Cubs

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Deputy Commander for Cadets

Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

August 8th, 2012

Kicking off a busy week for the Squadron, the Color Guard headed south to Petco Park for an afternoon game between the San Diego Padres and the Chicago Cubs.  

The two ball clubs have thrown in the towel on a disappointing season.  The Color Guard on the other hand just completed a very successful season, placing 1st in the Group Cadet Competition and 2nd in the Wing Cadet Competition.  Quite a contrast between the seasons for the various teams that took the field on this day.

Special thanks to the Squadron 47 Color Guard for giving up their opportunity to present the colors on this day.  The outcome of the game was a shutout win for the home town Padres.  The outcome for the Color Guard was a great day had by all, and a great opportunity to get out in front of a large crowd.

Photo by Capt Mike Pendgergrass
Color Guard Sponsor

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SQUADRONS 68 AND 47 CELEBRATE THE 4TH
Keeping the tradition at the Lake Forest Parade

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Deputy Commander for Cadets

Saddleback Composite Squadron 68


July 4th, 2012


Lake Forest - For 5 years now Squadron 68 has participated in the Lake Forest 4th of July Parade.  This year the Color Guard from Squadron 68 lead off the entry for the first time with members from both Squadrons 68 and 47 forming the drill team behind them.


It was a great showing for Civil Air Patrol with 16 cadets and 5 senior members in attendance.  The weather cooperated by staying cool and overcast for the entire parade.  The members of the group certainly appreciated cool asphalt as they marched the U-shaped route up Toledo, right on Lake Forest and right again on Serrano to bring them right back to El Toro High School.


Senior members met with various people that were curious as to what Civil Air Patrol was all about.  The community parades are a great way to reach out to prospective members and let the communities know who Civil Air Patrol is.  


While there was no competition in this parade, the group certainly showed well.  The Color Guard looked sharp and the Drill Team pulled off several crowd pleasing moves with ease.


The tradition of excellence continues in local parades.  2 more on the schedule this year for the group, with the tradition only growing from there.


Photo by SM Marty Oh

Squadron 68

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CIVIL AIR PATROL MARCHES ON

Group 7 marches in the 54th annual Swallows Day Parade

 

by Capt Kevin E. Lowther

Deputy Commander for Cadets

Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

 

March 24, 2012

 

San Juan Capistrano – Celebrating the return of the swallows is a tradition 54 years old, and now a tradition that Civil Air Patrol has taken part in for the past 5 years.  The parade is the largest non-motorized parade in the United States with 193 entries this year. 

 

Right in the middle of the parade was the Group 7 contingent comprising of the Wing Champion Squadron 47 Color Guard from Camp Pendleton.  Squadron 47 has led off the Civil Air Patrol entry for 4 of the 5 years and all 4 years has also won 1st place for Color Guard in the JROTC division.

 

Following close behind was the Group 7 Drill Team.  The team this year was a collection of cadets mostly from Squadron 68, but with a few cadets from 47 and one cadet from Squadron 153 in Los Alamitos.  The Drill Team has participated all 5 years in the parade and has won 1st place in the JROTC Drill Team category all 5 years. 

 

Finishing off the entry was the Squadron 153 Color Guard.  This was the 2nd year that the 153 guard has marched in the parade, taking 2nd place in the JROTC Color Guard division.

 

Overall, 25 cadets marched in the parade, the largest contingent of cadets in the parade ever.  The cadets were supported by 6 senior members walking alongside in flight suits or CAP corporate attire to show off that this isn’t just a cadet organization.

 

35,000 – 40,000 people attend the parade each year and thousands of others see the parade on local cable.  This is an excellent opportunity for CAP to get out in the community and show off what the organization is about.

 

The Swallows haven’t returned yet, but Civil Air Patrol has returned to Capistrano each of the past 5 years on time.


Photos by Maj Audrey DiGiantomasso
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Skyhawks Composite Squadron 47


















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