4/30/2006–Baltimore, MD–Two members of the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), Maj. Christopher Howell of Baltimore and 1st Lt. Martin Sacks of Elk Ridge, have been named 2005 award winners by CAP's Middle East Region (MER), which includes six states and the District of Columbia. The awards were presented during MER's annual conference and banquet, on April 29, in Richmond, Va.
Howell, 35, was named MER's Administrative Officer of the Year. Sacks, 47, was named MER's Safety Officer of the Year.
Howell joined the wing’s Towson Composite Squadron as a cadet in 1984, and in 1986 earned CAP’s General Billy Mitchell Award for passing a 100-question examination testing leadership theory and aerospace topics. He became a senior member in 1989, was a ground team member and leader and emergency services officer, and served as commander of the squadron from September 2001 to March 2006. Howell joined the staff of the wing’s Group II headquarters in June 2005, and currently serves as its administrative, personnel, and professional development officer. A pilot, he is also a qualified CAP mission observer, air operation branch director, and is working on becoming an incident commander.
“Basically I see my role in CAP as doing my part to get things done,” Howell said. “CAP is here to do a job and I'm here to do my part, every day.”
Howell is owner of Howell Technologies, which provides information systems technical support for area restaurants. He is married and expecting his first child in September.
Sacks joined the wing’s Fort McHenry Composite Squadron as a senior member in 2003 to have a shared activity with his oldest son, Kyle. Now a CAP transport mission and cadet orientation pilot, he is also a qualified CAP mission observer and mission scanner and plans to achieve his mission pilot rating later this year.
“The core values of CAP represent the same ones I learned from my Dad at an early age,” Sacks said, referring to his father, Alvin, who is also a member of CAP, serving in dual roles in the Fort McHenry Squadron as its public affairs officer and assistant safely officer and is the third generation of the family in the squadron. "After some time away from flying airplanes, I wanted to begin flying again as a way to serve my community and CAP has allowed me that privilege."
Sacks is vice president and chief operating officer of Streamline Publishing, Inc. of West Palm Beach, Fla. He is married with three children.
Other residents of Maryland, who are members of the MER staff, also received awards:
Lt. Col. Robert L. Ayres received an Exceptional Service Award for three years excellent service as the region's director of operations and for his duty as a mission pilot during CAP's Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts. He was also cited for his direction of CAP's Mountain Flying Clinics and it was noted that he has been a key player in facilitating installation of the satellite digital imaging system in region aircraft.
Lt. Col. Phyllis A. Griffin received an Exceptional Service Award for outstanding performance in what were described as two of the most important and difficult staff portfolios in the region – finance and cadet Programs. She was cited for flawless management of finances as well as actively participating in planning and executing regional cadet special activities including the MER Cadet Competition and Cadet Leadership School.
Lt. Col. John Knowles received a Meritorious Service Award for 3 years outstanding service as deputy director and instructor of the MER Staff College.
Col. Lawrence L. Trick received a commander's commendation for his 1½-year effort to re-create a viable aerospace education program for the region. Starting from scratch with a dormant program, he worked diligently to revive or upgrade the aerospace education efforts in all of the wings.
CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 57,000 members nationwide. CAP volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies.
Last fiscal year more than 1,800 of CAP’s dedicated members helped hurricane victims; CAP aviators and aerial observers flew more than 1,000 air missions; ground teams performed 131 missions and visited 4,266 homes; and other volunteers distributed 30,000 pounds of relief supplies. CAP members also conducted 2,507 search and rescue missions, saving 73 lives. Throughout the year, CAP also took part in important homeland security missions; many CAP pilots flew target-intercept training for U.S. fighter pilots.
Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 23,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program. CAP's cadet programs provide young men and women with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. Cadets progress through a 16-step program of leadership and aerospace education. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 65 years.
There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 34 search and rescue missions and were credited with 23 finds.
For information about the Maryland Wing of CAP, visit http://mdcap.org/ or listen to weekly episodes of "Civil Air Patrol Today" broadcast every Sunday morning on the following radio stations:
In addition, programs may be listened to at the Maryland Wing web site at http://mdcap.org/radio and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.