Missouri Wing Nationally Recognized for Participation
by MOWG Staff
Sunday, May 20th, was a busy day for the Missouri Wing, Civil Air Patrol! As part of an 11-wing, 10-state historic CAP relay, Missouri Wing participated in the 1,638-mile journey of a special painting from Colorado Springs, CO, to its permanent home in the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Renowned aviation artist and former CAP cadet, Rick Broome, was commissioned to create a commemorative painting as part of CAP’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2016. The painting titled “Total Force Partners” was to be presented to then-Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein during the Air Force Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference that year. However, the painting was irreparably damaged in transit to the conference in National Harbor, MD, forcing CAP to present a print of the painting for temporary display in the Pentagon. Mr. Broome subsequently completed a second painting of “Total Force Partners,” in early May of 2018 – the month of CAP’s 70th anniversary of becoming the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary.
In mid-April CAP/CEO, Mr. John Salvadore, announced that the replacement panting would NOT be transported commercially. Instead it would be transported by CAP van relay from Colorado (where Mr. Broome lives) to the Pentagon. During the relay, each wing would have the opportunity to photograph a lithograph of “Total Force Partners” in the presence of iconic monuments and landmarks highlighting their wing (and state) and enter them in a contest for the best relay photograph.
Missouri Wing rose to the challenge and a detailed plan was put into place by Lt. Col. Steve Aubuchon, Missouri Wing Vice Commander. Maj. Adam Daubach and wing public affairs staff prepared and distributed media releases that resulted in television, radio, print, and social media coverage – including the very first TV coverage of this national event by St. Louis’ Fox affiliate station, KTVI.
Relay teams were positioned to accept the painting from Kansas Wing in Kansas City and to hand it off to Illinois Wing in St. Louis, with additional teams ready to transport the painting across the state to several historic sites. The only unknown was the weather and Missouri weather in May did not disappoint as rain frequently chased the teams, but the mission was accomplished in the limited time allowed!
The following Missouri Wing members assisted in the relay to showcase Missouri:
- Col John O’Neill, Missouri Wing Headquarters
- Lt Col Steve Aubuchon, Missouri Wing Headquarters
- Lt Col David Miller, Group II Headquarters
- Maj Adam Daubach, Wentzville Composite Squadron
- Maj Kevin Oliver, Group I Headquarters
- SMSgt Sgt Charline O’Neil, Ft. Leonard Wood Composite Squadron
- C/2d Lt Zachary Bray, Wentzville Composite Squadron
- C/TSgt Jonathan Oliver, Platte Valley Composite Squadron
- C/TSgt Amber Scheulen, Wentzville Composite Squadron
- C/SrA Matthew Mangin, Wentzville Composite Squadron
Stops along the relay that busy day included:
- Maj Oliver and Cadet Oliver received the painting from the Kansas Wing in Atchison, KS, in the presence of a monument honoring Amelia Earhart. They then drove the painting to St. Joseph, MO, where it was photographed at the Pony Express Stables.
- The painting was then driven to Whiteman Air Force Base where it was passed off to Col O’Neill and SMSgt O’Neill who transported it to the state capitol in Jefferson City, MO.
- The painting was then passed off at the state capitol to Lt Col Aubuchon, Maj Daubach and the cadets from the Wentzville Composite Squadron and was transported to the Gateway Arch grounds near the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, MO, where the painting was finally passed off to the Illinois Wing just as the sun was setting. Mission accomplished!
Capping off this successful mission was the notice from CAP Headquarters that the wing’s photograph in front of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (taken by Maj Gregory Hoffeditz of the Illinois Wing) had won the relay’s “Best Photo Contest”!
“We had a little over three weeks warning about this project but didn’t know until just a few days out when the painting would arrive in Missouri, how long we would be able to keep it, or even its size,” said Lt Col Steve Aubuchon, Missouri Wing Vice Commander and relay project coordinator. “Then it was a scramble to coordinate with Kansas and Illinois Wings, select the most meaningful locations for photos, schedule the rendezvous for passing of the painting, and also the weather. Fortunately, there was great cooperation among wings, enough volunteers to keep the relay on schedule and the weather east of Kansas City was spectacular. It turned out to be a lot of fun.”
Media Links (External Links):
KTVI Fox 2: Best Kept Secret Of The US Air Force Celebrates 77 Years
KMOX Radio: Civil Air Patrol Painting Comes Through Missouri
STLtoday: Historic Civil Air Patrol Painting Bound For Pentagon
St. Joseph News-Press: Painting traverses US, stops in St. Joe
MOWG Cadet Programs Instagram: #totalforcepartners