Cadets from 176th Selfridge Composite Squadron cadets on the job at the Romeo Peach Festival Fly-In, marshaling aircraft and overseeing parking.
Capt. Carol Vinson
Public Affairs Officer
176th Selfridge Composite Squadron
MICHIGAN – Members of the 176th Selfridge Composite Squadron had the opportunity to display their aircraft-marshaling skills, guiding in aircraft ranging from a biplane and a 1940s warbird to choppers and modern ultralights, Sept. 2 at the Romeo Peach Festival Fly-in and Pancake Breakfast, held at Romeo State Airport.
The day started off early, with squadron members meeting at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base Visitor’s Center at 5:30 a.m. to be at the airport a half-hour later. Once they were there, the Romeo Lions Club – which hosts the event every year and passes the proceeds on to local charities -- was kind enough to provide them with a hearty breakfast.
Later, hundreds of visitors came to partake of the pancake breakfast and watch the planes come and go.
Seven cadets and two officers marshaled a varied array of at least 25 aircraft – including a gyrocopter, four helicopters, four ultralights, a biplane, two World War II Navy planes, several personal aircraft and a restored World War II B-25 bomber from the Yankee Air Museum at Ypsilanti’s Willow Run Airport.
The B-25 landed and took off several times as its pilot offered visitors 20-minute rides, giving the cadets numerous opportunities to marshal it in and out of the rural airport.
During the day, cadets also parked several hundred cars at two different locations -- one at the airport for the Fly-In, the other at the Ford Motor Co.’s parking lot for a classic car show.
Cadet Staff Sgt. Jonathan Forester was the first cadet to encounter the large World War II bomber as it touched down on the airfield.
“Watching the B-25 coming down the runway was pretty intimidating,” Forester said. “As it got closer, I got more excited.
“In all, the B-25 was my favorite part of the day.”
On the flight line, 1st Lt. Richard Moore, emergency services officer for the Selfridge squadron as well as for Michigan Wing Group 702, was the senior project officer and filled the “Control Tower” role, talking to the pilots and telling them where to go.
Cadet Capt. Max Onderik was the cadet project officer and helped keep all the members rotated through different areas.
Maj. Shawn Wyant, director of operations for Group 702, summed up the day perfectly in a post on the squadron’s Facebook page: “I stopped by the Romeo Fly-In to have some breakfast and to see what the Selfridge Composite Squadron was up to. I found that they were doing a great job marshaling aircraft and keeping everyone safe ...
“Where else besides Civil Air Patrol could a cadet from age 12-21 marshal a B-25?”