CAP cadets receive recognition during 601st AOC tour
By Mary McHale , AFNORTH Public Affairs
/ Published December 31, 2015
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Three members of the Florida Civil Air Patrol Wing each received a commander's recognition of superior performance coin from the Continental U.S. Aerospace Defense Command Region - 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) commander during a tour of the 601st Air Operations Center Wednesday morning.
Lt. Gen. William Etter presented his coin to C/2d Lt. Steven Conway of Lake Composite Squadron Fl-021, C/Lt Col Alexander English, Central Florida Composite Squadron, and C/Col Iriolexis Encalada, Pines Miramar Cadet Squadron.
Conway is a recent recipient of the CAP Silver Medal of Valor for his actions April 25 when, during a visit to a local store, he rushed to aid a store worker under attack by a man wielding a knife. According to the decoration narrative, "With complete and total disregard for his own personal safety, Cadet Lieutenant Conway immediately jumped into action and pulled the man off of the victim." The attacker then fled and was caught nearby. Conway was subsequently lauded for exemplifying "the best traditions and ideals of Civil Air Patrol Humanitarian Service" and police credited him with probably saving the woman's life.
English is a recipient of the CAP Bronze Medal of Valor for his actions March 23, 2013, when he came to the aid of another cadet in imminent danger of an approaching tornado. While at the Tico Warbird Airshow 2013, in Titusville, Fla., there was a tornado warning issued with all cadets ordered to cease activities and immediately seek safety inside nearby vans. English saw a lone cadet seek shelter in a pop-up camper instead and immediately ran to the camper to bring the cadet to the safety of a van. Almost at the same time, the tornado twisted through, flipping the camper. The decoration narrative attributes his quick-thinking and utter disregard for own safety with saving the cadet from serious injury and possibly loss of life.
Encalada distinguished herself as the newest Carl A. Spaatz Award recipient in CAP's Florida Wing, an achievement accomplished by less than one percent of cadets in the program. Recipients of this award meet some exacting standards to include progressing through 16 achievements and four milestones of the CAP Cadet Program and demonstrating considerable commitment to physical fitness and living CAP's Core Values of Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence and Respect.
"The outstanding efforts of these cadets fill me with a great sense of pride as their actions reflect such a genuine, real-world commitment to both CAP and Air Force Core Values that encompass selfless service, excellence and sacrifice," Etter said. "I wish each of them all the best in their future endeavors; they've certainly built a firm foundation to work from."
Encalada and the other cadets were visiting the 601st AOC as part of their annual week-long winter encampment event at Tyndall designed provide an in-depth orientation to the Civil Air Patrol and the United States Air Force. She also served as the cadet commander of the encampment.