Squadron Holds Summer Emergency Services Bivouac
Captain James Ridley, Sr., PAO

RIVERHEAD, NY – August 12, 2007.  Members of the Col Francis S. Gabreski Squadron fine tuned their skills in emergency services by participating in a weekend bivouac at the Indian Island Campground in Riverhead, NY.   

The weekend was planned by the squadron’s E/S Officer, Capt Nathan Hillard and his staff.  The purpose of the weekend training was for Cadets and Officers to complete requirements for their next qualification.  The courses taught this weekend included advanced land navigation, compass & map reading, ELT search techniques, building emergency shelters and field first aid.  Cadets trained on two challenging land navigation courses and participated in numerous sorties to search for a training ELT unit hidden in the dense brush of the park.  They were under the supervision of the Officers who were training as ground team leaders. The weekend’s result was 3 new ground team leaders as well as 15 qualified GT3 and GT2 Cadets and a communications unit leader.  

One of the weekend’s highlights came on Saturday evening prior to lights out.  The members were treated to a presentation given by one of the Riverhead Police Department’s K-9 unit’s officers, PO John R. Doscinski.  Officer Doscinski and his German shepherd “Gator” demonstrated K-9 techniques by having a cadet hide a small item in the woods for the dog to locate and retrieve.  Officer Doscinski also described the techniques used to train Gator and other K-9 dogs in the area of missing person searches, drug enforcement and counter terrorism. 

“I loved it” said c/Amn William Kennedy who was training for his GT3 qualifications, “this was awesome.  I learned a lot from Captain Hillard and 1st Lt Dave Collins who taught me how to make a shelter out of ordinary things you find in the woods.”