Civil Air Patrol

Northcentral Group welcomes new commander

Photo (T. Barta): Major Virginia Suarino symbolically accepts the squadron flag from Major Rose Hunt, as Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Alex Beckland stands by.

Stevens Point, Wis.- The Stevens Point Composite Squadron has lost a deputy commander, but gained a group commander.

At the squadron meeting on January 9, Major Virginia Suarino assumed command of WI-202, the Northcentral Group.  She relieves outgoing group commander Lieutenant Colonel Denese Helgeland.  Lt. Col. Helgeland currently serves as Wing Director of Operations.

Special guest for the change of command ceremony was Major Rose Hunt, Wing Vice Commander.  Major Hunt expressed appreciation for Major Suarino’s willingness to take on the role of group commander.

“Although the change of command ceremony is simple, the position of group commander is a significant one and challenging as well,” she said.

Major Suarino served as commander of the Stevens Point Composite Squadron from 2006 to 2010.  She achieved Level IV of the Senior Member Professional Development Program and received the Paul E. Garber Award in 2010.  She keeps active in emergency services as a mission pilot and ground team member.

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