Inclimate weather policy reminder

Arlington Squadron –

With the current temperatures and the possibility of precipitation, this is a good time to remind everyone of our inclement weather policies.

1. If the Arlington County Public Schools are closed, our meeting will be cancelled on that day (as we have nowhere to meet). County announcements can be found online at https://www.apsva.us/emergency-alerts/

2. If schools are open, but close early, and/or if evening activities are cancelled, our meeting must also be cancelled. Announcements to that effect can be found at the web address.

Should either of the above occur, or should the squadron leadership determine that it is not safe to conduct our squadron meeting due to weather, we will announce cancellations via email and also to our squadron website.

We always want maximum participation at all of our squadron meetings and events, but safety must always come first. If you (or your parent) do not feel it is safe to come to a meeting due to the weather, then you should not come. In that event, please inform Maj Newman, Lt Col Sadauskas, and/or your cadet leadership that you will not be there so we don’t have to come find you.

We expect our members (cadets in particular) to wear the appropriate uniform of the day for our meetings and events. In the case of Air Force-style uniforms (1550 blues, BDUs/ABUs, etc.) there are CAP rules (see CAPM 39-1) about specific outerwear. Often, our members do not have that outerwear. For squadron events, if you do not have the specific outerwear for the Air Force-style uniform, IT IS ACCEPTABLE to wear civilian outerwear (coats, gloves, hats) over that uniform. That is technically a violation of CAP regulations, but again your safety comes first. (Once indoors, the civilian outerwear should be removed.)

If you have any questions, please let Maj Newman know.

Arlington Composite Squadron IT Update for June 2013

The first order of business is to remind our members that there will be NO SQUADRON MEETING NEXT WEDNESDAY, 3 JULY.  Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, 10 July.  We wish all of our members and their families an enjoyable and safe Independence Day.

Speaking of safety, I’d like to take a moment to remind our members how to use eServices to remain safety current, particularly when you are unable to attend a scheduled safety briefing.  Even if you are not able to regularly attend squadron meetings, we strongly recommend that you maintain your currency.  As you know, members cannot participate in any CAP activity without being safety current.  In addition, the online safety briefings provide safety tips and techniques that are useful both inside and outside CAP.

Once you log in to eServices, click on the link for “Safety Management System (SMS)” under CAP Utilities on the left-hand column of the window.  Then, click on the “Online Safety Education” button in the middle of the window (or the equivalent link on the left-hand side).

The next screen provides links to multiple safety lessons, any of which when completed will ensure your safety currency until the last day of the following month.  The risk management courses are recommended for all members – our safety officer provided an overview during May’s safety briefing.  In addition, there are links to several elective monthly education courses.  If you’ve already taken all of those courses, you can retake them as a refresher, and still receive safety credit.

If you take online or in-person courses through FAA or AOPA as part of the WINGS program, you can receive CAP safety credit, as well.  When you register for WINGS, you can provide your CAPID number.  Any courses you complete will automatically become part of your CAP safety record.  You can see that safety record as the bottom of the Online Safety Education screen, under “Safety Education Training Records.”

I’d also like to remind you that I remain interested in recruiting an Assistant IT Officer for the squadron.  Please contact me for more information if you are interested.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any CAP-related IT issue and I’ll do my best to help.

6 March 2013 Squadron Meeting Cancelled

As you know, many schools and government organizations are closed today due to the inclement weather, and this includes the Arlington County schools.  With our meeting place unavailable, tonight’s squadron meeting is cancelled.  I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on 13 March.  Stay warm and stay safe!

A Great Loss

Many of you will have heard about the untimely passing of Lt Col Paul Gardella, the National Capital Wing’s Stan/Eval officer.  I did not know Lt Col Gardella well, but he was my pilot on the first Civil Air Patrol mission I flew as a scanner trainee last year.  He was patient, knowledgeable, and eager to share that knowledge with me, and for that I will always be grateful.

I consider it a privilege to have flown with Lt Col Gardella.  His professionalism, love of aviation, and dedication to CAP were evident to the most casual observer.  He helped confirm for me that this is an organization worth supporting, and I know that we volunteers will rededicate ourselves to the missions of the Civil Air Patrol in his memory.

To his family and friends I offer my deepest condolences on behalf of the Arlington Composite Squadron.

 

A note on IT security

Arlington Composite Squadron Senior Members, Cadets, and Parents –

We use the computers in the JROTC room at the Arlington Career Center regularly for squadron activities. These computers are under the control of the Arlington Public Schools, and as such, are configured for security according to the school system’s requirements. When we use them, we simply sit down and begin work – we do not have specific login information or any expectation of privacy.

When using these computers, a public computer, or any computer under the control of someone you do not know or trust, it is important to minimize the transmission of personally identifiable information. In general, that means avoiding the use of sites where you have to log in. Sometimes, this is unavoidable, particularly as we regularly access CAP eServices and need to use our username or CAPID and password. If a browser offers to memorize a password for you, you should always decline when using a public computer.

We should make every effort to eliminate our “paper” trails when we’re finished with our work. This means:

  1. logging off of all web sites (like eServices)
  2. clearing the cache and history on the web browser
  3. quitting all open applications
  4. deleting all files we may have saved to the computer (secure delete if at all possible)
  5. as a courtesy, leave the computer as you found it – ready for the next user

Different browsers provide different mechanisms to clear cache and history. At the Arlington Career Center, the computers run Firefox version 5.0 and Internet Explorer version 8.0. On Firefox, to clear personal information, you should:

  1. click on the orange Firefox tab
  2. select History and then Clear Recent History from the pull-down menu
  3. you can choose how much history to delete – choose at least one hour
  4. select Details and then select all items to clear
  5. click OK and quit the browser once the action is complete

On Internet Explorer, you should:

  1. click on the Tools option in the toolbar
  2. select Delete Browsing History
  3. make sure that all items are checked EXCEPT preserve favorites – please uncheck that item
  4. click OK and quit the browser once the action is complete

Both Firefox and IE have “private browsing” features which do not save any history. Please consider using this feature as well. On Firefox, click the orange Firefox tab and select Private Browsing. On IE, click on Tools and select InPrivate Browsing.

Please note that these instructions are specific to the versions of Firefox and IE at the Arlington Career Center. These are not the latest versions available, and are likely not the ones you use on your personal computers. Spending a minute to do this will greatly reduce the risk of your personal information getting into the wrong hands.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to leave a comment here, contact me by e-mail, or speak with me at a squadron meeting. Thanks very much for your help in providing a safe computing environment for all of us.