Five Squadrons Earn AE Awards
Five South Dakota Wing squadrons have earned the prestigious Squadron Aerospace Education Award from CAP’s National Headquarters.
Big Sioux Composite Squadron
Rushmore Composite Squadron
Pierre Composite Squadron
Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron, and
Crazy Horse Composite Squadron.
“Aerospace and STEM education are crucial to America’s future,” said Col. Michael Marek, South Dakota Wing commander. “The Air Force and indeed the country depend on CAP to be part of the development of the next generation of aerospace and STEM leaders.”
The annual CAP award stems from records at National Headquarters showing the squadron successfully performing at least eight of the eighteen criteria, encompassing internal and external programs in AE. The criteria include internal activities, like model rocketry, using CAP STEM kits, and senior members earning the AE Yeager Award. External measures include school visits, assisting teachers on AE/STEM efforts, and working with outside community youth groups with aerospace education.
“This is truly a heartening achievement,” said Lt. Col. Bill Strandell, newly appointed Wing director of aerospace education. “Each Squadron has its unique gifts that have added great value to our community. It is a tribute to the individual initiative of each Squadron member that made it happen. Congratulations to all squadrons receiving this well-deserved award.”
Aerospace and STEM education is a central part of both the CAP youth program and its program for adult members, but CAP also advocates for STEM and Aerospace education to other groups and agencies.
“As we enter 2024, we are continuing our internal and external outreach,” Strandell added. “We are working with the Sioux Falls School District to initiate and promote Aerospace Education Memberships, (AEM) in our quest to advocate STEM and AE to keep our nation strong.”