Maj. Rose Hunt, Wisconsin Wing vice commander, presents Lt. Col. Dean Klassy with his Great Lakes Region Exceptional Service Award.
Photo by Capt. Jeri Gonwa, Wisconsin Wing
Capt. Jeri Gonwa
Public Affairs Officer
WISCONSIN – Lt. Col. Dean Klassy has been honored with the Great Lakes Region Exceptional Service Award for his service as Wisconsin Wing project officer and incident commander during the EAA ArivVenture Fly-In search and rescue mission.
The award recognizes for exceptionally outstanding service to CAP in a duty of great responsibility. The duty carries the ultimate responsibility for the successful operation of a region, wing or major project within the region or wing and involves the acceptance and fulfillment of that obligation to the great benefit of the wing or region and CAP.
While the honor was announced at the Wisconsin Wing Conference in April, his recent job relocation to Albuquerque, N.M., prevented Klassy from accepting the award at the time.
Maj. Rose Hunt, Wisconsin Wing vice commander, wanted to make receipt of the award a special event for Klassy, so she presented him with his certificate at the wing’s mobile command center during this year’s AirVenture mission.
Because he knows the importance of having the right equipment during a mission, the mobile center is special to Klassy, communications officer for the wing's Southeast Wisconsin Group. He has spent many hours teaching others how to use the massive RV-turned-communication-center.
The Wisconsin Wing works the search and rescue mission every year during AirVenture, the world’s largest fly-in. For the past three years Klassy has served as project officer and incident commander – roles he continues to fill despite his recent move to the Southwest he continued to coordinate the mission.
Coordinating the four bases where Wisconsin Wing members are based during EAA is a yearlong process. At the height of the mission, about 150 volunteers a day rotate throughout the bases, and such operations as transportation, aircraft, communications, lodging and personnel must run smoothly to ensure success.
During the mission, Klassy also works with not only the EAA but also such agencies as the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and CAP National Headquarters.
Klassy, who joined CAP in November 1978, is rated in 24 emergency services specialty qualifications, including incident commander. When not acting as incident commander during a mission, he’s able to fill just about any staff position.