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Chief of Staff's Soapbox

posted Sep 4, 2018, 11:35 AM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 11:37 AM ]

Apparently, I'm too short to see over the lectern at Wing, so I've decided to embrace the joke!

I've created a page where I hope to expand on messages that I am asked to pass along to the Wing, in addition to sharing some of my own thoughts on concepts and ideas that I think are important.

I also host a 15-minute web-enabled training or Q&A session for any members at 1815 hrs each Wednesday, in advance of the regular 1830 staff call. Submit your request for a topic here!

Capt Jessica Jerwa, CAP
Washington Wing Chief of Staff

Wreaths Across America 2018

posted Aug 6, 2018, 12:26 PM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Aug 6, 2018, 12:34 PM ]

Civil Air Patrol Members To Honor Fallen Service Members at Wreaths Across America Remembrance Ceremony

WAWG/Public Affairs

August 5, 2018

McChord Field -- Members of Civil Air Patrol’s Washington Wing invite the public to sponsor remembrance wreaths for placement on the graves of veterans at Tahoma National Cemetery (Kent, Wash.) on December 15, to honor those who served the U.S. as well as current military members. Sponsors can even designate where the wreaths will be laid in the local community.

The wing’s efforts coincide with Wreaths Across America tributes occurring simultaneously across the nation, including Arlington National Cemetery, where the initiative began 23 years ago with the placement of 5,000 wreaths donated by Morrell Worcester, owner of Harrington, Maine’s Worcester Wreath Co. In 2006, Worcester and his family formed Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit initiative that recognizes the courage and sacrifices of U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on the graves of the fallen during the year-end holiday season.

As a major partner in Wreaths Across America, CAP has adorned memorials and veterans’ graves with evergreen wreaths to make sure the sacrifices of the nation’s soldiers are not forgotten. 

Wreaths Across America ceremonies are conducted largely by CAP wings and squadrons with the help of veterans’ organizations; private citizens; the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C., which annually assists with the laying of wreaths at Arlington; and the Patriot Guard Riders.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information.


Locally, Washington volunteers operate a fleet of 23 vehicles and 14 aircraft (Cessna 172s, 182s, and a 206, as well as 2 Blanik gliders) for inland search and rescue missions and cadet orientation flight instruction. The wing is comprised of 766 adult members (ages 18+) and 706 cadets (ages 12-21), organized into 27 squadrons, who contributed a value of $5.4 million in volunteer hours to their local communities and the citizens of Washington in 2017. Visit for more information.

Chat with Colonel Shelly J. Norman!

posted Apr 16, 2018, 8:22 PM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Apr 16, 2018, 8:46 PM ]

Questions for Col. Norman? 
Book a 15-minute chat via her calendar!

FREE Experimental Aircraft Association Membership for Cadets

posted Apr 5, 2018, 8:12 AM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Apr 5, 2018, 10:32 AM ]

Did you know?

CAP is partners with EAA, the 
Experimental Aircraft Association! When cadets complete their first CAP orientation flight, EAA considers them one of their “Young Eagles.” A cadet's status as a “Young Eagle” comes with zero obligations, but some great benefits, including:
  • FREE access to Sporty's Learn to Fly Course ($199 value). 
  • FREE first flight lesson* ($130 value). 
  • FREE admission to 300+ science and technology museums. 
  • FREE Academy of Model Aeronautics Student Membership 
  • FREE electronic copy of EAA Sport Aviation magazine. 
  • Access to valuable flight training awards, education scholarships, and Air Academy camperships. 
* Upon completion of the first three volumes of the Sporty's Learn to Fly Course. 


posted Mar 9, 2018, 7:48 AM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Mar 9, 2018, 7:50 AM ]

2016 YCF High School Aviation Scholarship winner Amelia Green
2016 YCF High School Aviation Scholarship winner Amelia Green

AOPA is accepting applications for three scholarship programs that will help fund flight training. Two of the scholarships help student pilots earn their private pilot certificate, and the third program helps current pilots who are working toward an advanced certificate or rating. The deadline is May 2 for all of the programs.

High School Flight Training Scholarships

Approximately 20 teens whose dream is to earn their wings will get closer to their goal thanks to AOPA’s You Can Fly High School Flight Training Scholarship Program. 

Through the initiative, AOPA will award a minimum of $100,000 in flight training scholarships to deserving high school students who are genuinely passionate about pursuing a pilot’s certificate. Each winner will receive $5,000 toward primary flight training.

AOPA Foundation Flight Training Scholarships

The AOPA Foundation will award two types of scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, to recognize and support prospective and certificated pilots of all ages pursuing their aviation goals.

Primary Certification Scholarships can be used for an initial certification, such as a Sport, Private or Recreational pilot certification.  

Advanced Rating Scholarships are designed to support outstanding pilots with career aspirations. Applicants in this category must be seeking one of the following ratings or certificates: Instrument, Commercial, CFI (Certificated Flight Instructor), CFII (Certificated Flight Instructor – Instrument), or MEI (Multi-Engine – Instructor).

Applications are open NOW through May 2, 2018. 

More info about this and other scholarships and opportunities for cadets and officers can be found within the Scholarships & Organizations section of the Wing webpage, here:

Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship

posted Feb 11, 2018, 11:00 PM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Feb 11, 2018, 11:01 PM ]

Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship
For the seventh consecutive year, WPC will award its annual Jennifer Dunn-Thomson scholarship to a female college student who embodies the late Congresswoman's values of leadership, commitment to public service and personal values. From the $15,000 in total scholarship funds available, recipients may use the money to pay for tuition or an internship on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. WPC will help the recipients with an internship placement with a member of Congress.  

Past scholarship winners have used the funds to do incredible things and have become a great addition to our organization. Our first scholarship recipient plays a significant role on our Young Professionals Advisory Board, and another is leading the WPC college club on the Washington State University campus. The deadline to apply is April 15.

Ballistic Missile Threat at Commander's Call

posted Jan 14, 2018, 12:03 AM by Tyler Bennett   [ updated Jan 15, 2018, 4:56 PM ]

The Pacific Region Wing Commanders convened in Kauai, Hawaii this weekend for their annual commander's call. Among the multitude of items on the agenda was the new Continuous Compliance Program that is being developed in Pacific Region. Today, the commanders were joined by their new Compliance Officers to work through the second stage of the new program.

At the beginning of the meeting, a ballistic missile launch alert was received that Hawaii was the target. The region staff sprang into action and not only handled our Airmen but hundreds of civilians at the hotel. Pacific Region Vice Commander Col Tim Hahn was immediately appointed as the on-site incident commander.

Also present from the Pacific Region staff was the former Hawaii Wing Commander Col Jeff Wong, who is also a State of Hawaii Emergency Services Director. Both he and Col Hahn took control of the situation, began organizing Incident Command System (ICS) personnel, organized a shelter in place and kept hundreds of people calm during the 30 minutes until the alert was determined to be a false alarm. The actions of Col Hahn, Col Wong and the other members of the PCR team epitomize the professionalism and dedication of our entire organization.
By: Col Jon Stokes,CAP, Pacific Region Commander


2018 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards

posted Jan 8, 2018, 2:07 PM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Jan 8, 2018, 2:12 PM ]

Serve Washington advances national service, volunteerism and civic engagement to improve lives; expands opportunity to meet the local critical needs of residents of Washington; and strengthens community capacity while creating healthy and resilient communities.

Accepting nominations for 2018 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards

Do you know an outstanding volunteer - someone who devotes incredible energy to making your community and our state a better place to live? How about a national service member whose volunteer service goes above and beyond the requirements of the designated program? What about a well-run program at an organization, business or corporation that supports volunteerism? If so, you can help them get the recognition they deserve. We are pleased to announce the nomination guidelines and online nomination form for 2018 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards are now available! 

Important dates

  • February 8, 2018 - Nominations due
  • March 12-16, 2018 - Recipients selected and notified
  • April 9, 2018 - Serve Washington will host a ceremony to honor recipients at the Executive Mansion in Olympia.
  • April 16, 2018 - Seattle Mariners Salute to Volunteers Night where they will hold a pre-game on-field ceremony to honor recipients.

Read about 2015 GVSA recipient, (now) Capt Daniel Boudreau of Skagit Composite Squadron!

Wreaths Across America at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA

posted Dec 16, 2017, 9:20 PM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Dec 16, 2017, 10:19 PM ]

by Lt. Col. Jeffrey A. Lustick, Washington Wing Public Affairs

Kent, Wash. -- Every December on National Wreaths Across America Day, Washington Wing Civil Air Patrol members converge at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington, and at other locations in Washington state, to honor American military members and their families. Our mission is to "Remember, Honor and Teach," and it is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies with those happening simultaneously at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,200 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.

Left: Colonel Rebecca J. Sonkiss, USAF, Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, meets with CAP 2d Lt Dennis W. Smith of Renton Composite Squadron, and thanks him for his service to the United States. (WA Wing CAP Photo).

Top: The Air Force Memorial at Wreaths Across America 2017 (WA Wing CAP Photo).

Bottom: Non-commissioned officers from the United States Marine Corps render a 21-gun salute for Wreaths Across America at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA (WA Wing CAP Photo).

Colonel Rebecca Sonkiss, USAF, Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, served as Keynote Speaker for Wreaths Across America 2017 at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. (WA Wing CAP Photo)

Check out all of the photos from this year's ceremony!

First Woman to Command Civil Air Patrol’s Washington Wing

posted Dec 16, 2017, 5:16 PM by Jessica Jerwa   [ updated Jan 10, 2018, 7:56 PM ]

Washington Wing's Next Commander Selected   

Story by Capt. Jessica, Jerwa, Washington Wing Public Affairs

December 16, 2017

McChord Field – Civil Air Patrol’s Washington Wing will see its first female commander installed in April 2018 at the organization’s annual training conference and banquet in Wenatchee, Washington. Colonel (Select) Shelly J. Norman will assume command from Colonel James P. Furlong. The Washington Wing state headquarters is at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and has nearly 1,500 members statewide.

Norman joined Civil Air Patrol's Fire Mountain Composite Squadron in Lewis County in 2002 and was initially appointed the Emergency Services Training Officer. She later served as both Deputy Commander for Cadets and Seniors and then Squadron Commander. Not surprisingly, Norman has continued to hold increasingly demanding roles in the organization in Washington Wing and at the Pacific Region headquarters. She has served the region as Health Services Officer and Assistant Inspector General and was instrumental in the success of Region Staff College from 2007 to 2017 while serving in positions such as Co-Director, Seminar Advisor, Medical Officer and Evaluations Officer. Prior to her selection for Wing Commander, Col. (Sel.) Norman served as the Washington Wing Deputy Inspector General Continuous Compliance Officer where she was responsible for implementing a “continuous compliance” initiative in Washington Wing to increase mission readiness among the membership.

Outside of Civil Air Patrol, Norman is licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner and holds two national board certifications to practice Family Medicine. She is a member of several Nurse Practitioner organizations and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Norman was born and raised in California before relocating to Washington in 1981. She currently lives in Winlock, Washington with her two sons and considers the state her home.

Locally, Washington Wing Civil Air Patrol members operate a fleet of 23 vehicles and 14 aircraft (Cessnas 172s, 182s, and a 206, as well as 2 Blanik gliders) for inland search and rescue missions and cadet orientation flight instruction. The wing is comprised of 774 adult members (ages 18+) and 707 cadets (ages 12-21), organized into 27 squadrons, who contributed a value of $4.9 million in volunteer hours to their local communities and the state of Washington in 2016. Visit for more information.

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