Mankato Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol

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Squadron Helps Find Body of Missing Man PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 00:00
Mankato Squadron members preparing for a search sortie.

Ground team members await briefing near the Incident Command Post. Cadets participated as Search and Rescue Ground Team members. Major Paul Pieper helped coordinate CAP's search efforts.
Multiple ground teams participated in the search. CAP members geared up and ready to go. Major Chet Wilberg served as the Incident Commander for CAP assets.
Search and rescue personnel arriving in the search area and preparing their equipment.
Photos by Capt Nash Pherson, CAP.
Members of the Minnesota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol recently found the body of a man missing since late October.

The Scott County Sheriff's Department received a report on November 8 that an abandoned vehicle containing a suicide note was parked along a rural township road near Henderson, Minn. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) activated Minnesota Wing that evening to assist with the search.

The following morning, 43 ground team members, 3 aircrew members and 5 mission base personnel searched the area near the abandoned vehicle.

A CAP aircraft scanned the immediate area including route searches along the Minnesota River, railroad tracks, and roads for possible clues.

While the aircrew made its search, ground team members were busy scoping out land along the river and nearby hillsides for the missing man.

During the ground search, two members of a team from the 130th Composite Squadron in Lakeville noticed something that "didn't quite look right" and discovered the body of the missing man in a camouflaged shelter.

Overall, Minnesota Wing members from 130th, Viking, St. Paul, Mankato, Owatonna and Hutchinson squadrons contributed 51 members, 510 hours and 2 sorties totaling nearly 4 hours to the search.
Last Updated ( Monday, 01 December 2008 12:23 )
CAP Member's Training Proves Worth For Accident Victim PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 November 2008 00:00
Captain Nash Pherson, thanked by rescue personnel.
A Mankato Composite Squadron member is being praised by emergency service providers for his quick actions following a car versus bicycle accident along a busy Twin Cities' highway.

Captain Nash Pherson was stopped at a signal light along US Highway 169 in Champlin, Minn., on 6 November 2008, when he noticed what he thought was debris laying on the other side of the intersection.

"A man was moving debris from my lane when he picked up a bicycle," Pherson said. "I then realized there was a victim lying prone and not moving in the thin space between the turn lane and the highway." Pherson called 911 and reported the accident.

While still on the phone, Pherson activated his vehicle's hazard lights and proceeded through a red light and into the busy intersection. He parked his vehicle as far back from the victim as possible and angled the car and turned the wheels towards the side of the road in case it was struck from behind.

Luckily, Pherson had his search and rescue equipment in the car after working the previous weekend with the Civil Air Patrol in the search for a missing man near Marshall, Minn.

Grabbing his reflective vest and medical kit, he approached the victim. Another motorist and the driver of the car that struck the bicycle rider were now present.

Pherson asked the victim his name and to lay his head down on his medical bag, hoping to stabilize the boy's neck and back.

Pherson explains: "The victim was moaning and crying, and it was obviously causing him too much pain to try to lay down. I took hold of his head to try to maintain his c-spine while he was sitting up. I then glanced at the vehicle and saw extensive damage to the glass. I quickly brushed through the victim's hair to look for bleeding and didn't see any. I asked the victim where he was hurting. He said his legs hurt and I noticed he was clutching his abdomen. I looked him over for any serious bleeding, but did not see any.

"I then asked him how old he was, and he responded '14', then '13', then 'I don't know.' I then began to feel the back of the victim's head. It felt soft and misshapen. The victim kept trying to move around, and could not comply with instructions to hold still. I stopped trying to hold his head at this point, as I was worried about doing more damage than good. I positioned myself alongside the victim so that I could hold his upper torso over my body if he started seizing, and I continued to comfort him."

The distraught driver was not injured and stated he had not seen the victim until he actually hit him. The driver also stated that he wanted to move his car to let traffic through.

"Even with the reflective vest on and my car blocking us, I was incredibly scared of a secondary accident. It was rush hour with high traffic, the roads were very wet, rain was reducing visibility, and it was dark," Pherson said. He told the man not to move his vehicle.

In what seemed like an eternity to Pherson, the first police officer arrived at the scene shortly after the accident. Pherson briefed the officer with what he had done to assess the situation and stabilize the victim while other officers and an ambulance arrived at the scene.

Champlin Police Officer Nick Englund thanked Pherson for stopping to provide help.

"Captain Pherson was very helpful at the scene. He provided first aid until we arrived and then provided helpful information to supplement our report. We appreciated the help. All too often people in need are passed by. Captain Pherson is a great example of the good Samaritans that are our there. Please thank him once again for a job well done."

Minnesota Group 4 commander, Lt Col John Barsness, has known Pherson since he was a cadet.

"Captain Pherson has trained in many Emergency Services capacities and has always demonstrated cool response in tense situations," Barsness said.

Original story at CAP NHQ.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 30 November 2008 14:04 )
PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 June 2008 18:58
Flag Retirement Ceremony

Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
July 3rd, 2008
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
401 Stoltzman Road, Mankato, Minnesota

The Flag Retirement Ceremony will be conducted under the provision of the U.S. Flag Code, which stipulates; “When a U.S. flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Last Updated ( Sunday, 30 November 2008 15:50 )
ELT Search Leads to Sikorsky S-55 Helicopter at Le Sueur Airport PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 April 2008 13:37

Search and Rescue Ground Team and Aircrew from Mankato Composite Squadron Share Credit in Non-distress ELT "Find"

On Sunday, 27 April 2008 Mankato Composite Squadron's leadership received a phone call stating an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal was received near Le Sueur, MN by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC). Within 45 minutes a ground team and air crew was dispatched and was enroute to the area.

On their way to Le Sueur the ground team maintained radio contact with the air crew which had launched from Mankato Regional Airport. The air crew and ground team were able to narrow the ELT signal down to the Le Sueur Airport. The ground team arrived at the airport and within minutes had the signal tracked down to a Sikorski helicopter that was parked on the ramp.

The mission concluded with the ground team contacting local authorities who in turn contacted the owner of the helicopter. The helicopter's owner promptly arrived at the airport and pulled out the ELT allowing the Mankato Composite Squadron personnel to deactivate it, terminating the distress signal. After a quick debriefing of the situation, both ground team and air crew returned safely to Mankato. It is assumed that the ELT activation was the result of a maintenance issue.

Also of Note: Red Wing Composite Squadron was activated to search for a second ELT based on signals received by the AFRCC. At the time Mankato located and deactivated the ELT in Le Sueur, the signal thought to be in the Rochester area ceased. It is believed the signal from the Le Sueur area ELT was responsible for both signals. Red Wing Squadron was informed that the target was located and mission complete.

    The members of the Search and Rescue Ground Team included:
  • 1st Lt Luke Frederick, Ground Team Leader
  • Lt Col Robert Gaffer
  • 1st Lt Russell Merchlewitz
  • SM Dan Sargent
  • Cadet Carl Swanson
  • Cadet Calan Merchlewitz
  • Cadet Jon Macemon
  • Cadet Mike Sargent
    The members of the Search and Rescue Aircrew included:
  • Maj John Barsness
  • Capt JoEllen Peters
  • MSgt John Vanderhoof
Last Updated ( Friday, 02 May 2008 16:02 )
Cadet Programs PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 April 2008 09:32

Welcome to the Mankato Squadron Cadet Programs Webpage.  Here, we will post:

Cadet News

Cadet Events

Cadet Resources

Check this site for updates, and direct any questions to C/2dLt Connolly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Support staff position openings!!

Cadets, you can apply to be promoted to a squadron position today.  

Just click here, choose a position, and APPLY


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:30 )
Squadron Participates in High-Profile SAR Evaluation PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 January 2008 00:00
Two CAP members showing off DF equipment for the news media

An unusually warm January weekend was the setting for a search and rescue exercise 24-27 January. Units from across the state sent ground teams, aircraft, and mission base staff, including Mankato Composite Squadron. The theme of the exercise focused on homeland security roles antiipated for the 2008 Republican National Convention.

This exercise served as the biannual evaluation of Minnesota Wing's search and rescue capabilities by the United States Air Force. The Air Force examines every aspect of mission readiness. Minnesota Wing received an overall score of "satisfactory", while the command section received an "excellent" score.

On Thursday, Mankato sent an experienced aircrew to conduct aerial imaging of critical infrastructure along an assigned section of the Minnesota River Valley. These missions provide critical information to decision makers on the ground from other agencies. Capt JoEllen Peters, 1st Lt Curtis Hanson, and Maj John Barsness crewed the Cessna C-172 based at Mankato Regional Airport.

For the main part of the exercise on Saturday, a ground team from Mankato was dispatched to the Metro area. Led by 1st Lt Luke Frederick as Ground Team Leader, five members of the unit joined other searh and rescue assets from throughout the region. -luke-

Also, Saturday allowed another Mankato aircrew to participate in a communications sortie. Capt JoEllen Peters, Maj John Barsness, and Capt Nash Pherson provided a critical radio relay while orbiting over the New Ulm area.

Several Minnesota news oranizations covered the event:

Flying under the radar: Civil Air Patrol members converge on Lake Elmo
Stillwater Gazette

Is the CAP prepared for a plane crash? (With Video)
KSTP Eyewitness News ABC

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 January 2008 10:26 )
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