LoneStar Emergency Services Academy South

Brownsville – Thirty-five members from four wings gave up their Christmas break to attend the 2015 LoneStar Emergency Services Academy South in Brownsville, Texas.  CAP members from Arkansas, California, New Jersey and Texas attended one of three schools – Communications, Ground Team Member or Medical Orientation – during the week long school.

Started in 2007, the school was originally known as the Texas Wing Ground Team School, but in 2013 was renamed the LoneStar Emergency Service Academy South as the southern counterpart to LESA held in the northern half of Texas.  In 2014 LESA was recognized as a National Cadet Special Activity.

With an emphasis on search and rescue, students attending the ground team school receive instruction on tasks for ground team member three, two, one and ground team leader. The course covered the basics for ground team member 3 and 2; what goes into a 24 hour pack, knot tying, pace counting, using a compass and land navigation to searching for and locating a missing aircraft and how to remove an injured person from an aircraft.

New to LESA South this year was a stand-alone communications course.  Communications training was always a part of the ground team school, but this year the curriculum was expanded and a stand-alone course was added.  Graduates complete all requirements for Mission Radio Operator.

Also new this year was the Medical Orientation Training School or MOTS.  MOTS was created by Maj. Brad Rather, a retire Army Physician Assistant. The course was designed to give cadets interested in a career in the medical field an introduction to more advanced medical training than basic first aid.  Students received instruction in patient assessment, treating musculoskeletal injuries, c-spine immobilization, lifting and moving patients, respiratory illnesses, abdominal pain and received training and practice controlling bleeding with tourniquets and pressure dressings.

“We incorporated their new skills with the ground teams and ran multiple medical scenarios to give them many hours of hands on experience.” said Maj. Rather.

Students also had the opportunity to train with the Los Fresnos Volunteer Fire Department.   The LFVFD demonstrated how to use the Jaws of Life and how to extract a patient out of a vehicle.

The week cumulated with an aircraft crash scenario and a missing person search.  Ground team students divided into two team – one looking for the missing aircraft and the other a missing person – with two hours to complete their assigned sorties.

MOTS students were assigned to the missing aircraft search team and functioned as medics as well as casualties, giving them the chance to practice what they learned.  Ground team members had the opportunity to utilize their training in urban direction finding and how to remove an injured person from an aircraft and transport them away from the scene.

“Despite the added size of amount of people, LESA South has been extremely successful.  We’ve run over 24 sorties for the ground team, we’ve had the medical personal training in conjunction with the ground teams as well as doing their own training and we were able to do a joint training activity with the Las Fresnos Fire Department,” said LESA South Commander Lt. Col. Juan Arredondo.

LESA South’s motto “If you’re awake, you’re training” proved to be true once again.   After only five days of training, the following qualifications were completed:

  • Incident Commander 3(IC3) – 1
  • Ground Branch Director (GBD) 2
  • Communications Unit Leader (CUL) – 1
  • Ground Team Leader (renewal) – 1
  • Ground Team Member 1 (GTM1) – 4
  • Ground Team Member 2 (GTM2) – 12 and 2 renewals
  • Ground Team Member 3 (GTM3) – 12 and 2 renewals
  • Urban Direction Finding (UDF) – 12 and 2 renewals
  • Mission Radio Operator (MRO) – 15 and 2 renewals
  • Mission Staff Assistant (MSA) –  3

 LESA South Commander Lt. Col. Juan Arredondo

Communications School

  • Instructor Maj. David Augustine


  • 2nd Lt. Mauricio Gutfrajnd – Texas Wing
  • 2nd Lt. Susan Meier de Gutfrajnd – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Natasha Pavlinetz – New Jersey Wing

Ground Team School


  • Capt. Anthony Plattsmier – Texas Wing
  • Cadet 2nd Lt. Gilberto Saldivar – Texas Wing
  • Cadet 1st Lt. David Arredondo – Texas Wing


  • Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Justin Agbayani – California Wing
  • Cadet Master Sgt. Andrew Arredondo Texas Wing
  • Capt. John Hinch – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Jadon Hufham – Texas Wing
  • Cade Airman 1st Class Xavier Medina – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Master Sgt. Zarek Moreno – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Airman 1st Manuel Munoz – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Airman 1st Class Jonathan Pena – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Master Sgt. Samuel Regnerus – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Tech. Sgt. Timothy Shraer – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Tech. Sgt. Jamison Vest Texas Wing
  • Cadet 2nd Lt. Ryan Yang – California Wing

Honor Team– Alpha Team

Warrior Award – Cadet 2nd Lt. Ryan Yang – California Wing

Honor Graduate – Cadet Technical Sgt. Timothy Shraer – Texas Wing

Medical Orientation Training School

Instructor Maj. Brad Rather – Texas Wing


  • Cadet Lt. Col. Warren Friedrichs – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Airman 1st Class Joshua Gandy – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Capt. Jacob Gaskins – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Col. Kara McRory – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Capt. James Meaux – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Technical Sgt. Sarah Moberley – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Master Sgt. Austin Rather – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Rick Rheinlander – Texas Wing
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez – Texas Wing
  • Cadet 2nd Lt. Samuel Schlichter – Texas Wing
  • Cadet 2nd Lt. William Zeek – Texas Wing

Warrior award –   Cadet Staff Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez – Texas Wing

Honor graduate – Cadet Capt. Jacob Gaskins – Texas Wing

 Ground Branch Director Student

  • 2nd Lt.  Phillip Dore – Arkansas Wing

To see all photos from LESA South:

Day 1  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.940683479320526.1073741860.380495308672682&type=1&l=07060696ea

Day 2  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.941162652605942.1073741861.380495308672682&type=1&l=6180d1776d

Day 3 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.941699535885587.1073741862.380495308672682&type=1&l=76172261de

Day 3, Part 2 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.942073699181504.1073741863.380495308672682&type=1&l=2b6a0e33e0

Day 4  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.941699535885587.1073741862.380495308672682&type=1&l=76172261de

Day 4, Part 2 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.942176329171241.1073741865.380495308672682&type=1&l=4b21f2b221

Day 5  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.943360292386178.1073741866.380495308672682&type=1&l=f39df5c3d8

Graduation day  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.943826419006232.1073741867.380495308672682&type=1&l=d99e6cf82d