Civil Air Patrol

Wisconsin Wing member receives Great Lakes Region Exceptional Service Award

Photo by Lt. Col. Julie Sorenson – Maj. Rose Hunt presents Lt. Col. Dean Klassy with the Great Lakes Region Exceptional Service Award during the 2012 EAA Air Force assigned mission.

WISCONSIN – Lieutenant Colonel Dean Klassy recently accepted Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Great Lakes Region Exceptional Service Award during the EAA Search and Rescue Mission.  The award was announced at the Wisconsin Wing Conference held in April of this year, but due to his recent job relocation to Albuquerque, N.M., Klassy was unable to accept the award at that time.

The award is given for exceptionally outstanding service to CAP in a duty of great responsibility while serving in CAP.  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 so as to greatly benefit the wing or region and CAP.

Major Rose Hunt, Wisconsin Wing’s vice-commander, wanted to make it a special event for Klassy and presented him with his certificate at the wing’s mobile command center (MCC) which was being used during the recent mission.  Knowing the importance of having the right equipment during a mission, the MCC is special to Klassy.  He has spent many hours teaching others how to use the massive RV turned communication center.

Wisconsin Wing CAP works this mission every year during EAA’s AirVenture.  For the past three years Klassy has been the project officer and incident commander for the mission.  What many do not know are the hours that he devotes planning the mission nor of his other many accomplishments in CAP.  In spite of his recent move he continued to coordinate the mission, returning to Wisconsin to be the project officer and incident commander.

Coordinating four bases in which Wisconsin volunteers are based is a year long process.  During the height of the mission, approximately 150 volunteers a day rotate throughout the bases.  Things such as transportation, aircraft, communications, lodging and personnel must run smoothly to make the mission a success.  He also works with such agencies as the FAA, EAA, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) and CAP National Headquarters, just to name a few.

Klassy, who joined CAP in 1981, has made the Emergency Service program his own and is rated in 24 of the Specialty Qualifications including incident commander (IC).  When not acting as IC during a mission, Klassy is able to fill most any staff position, proving to be invaluable to the organization.

Klassy was the agency liaison for the Baraboo, Wis. flooding in 2008 which was a federally declared disaster.  Being on-site the entire 10-day mission, he worked with FEMA and Wisconsin DNR teams as well as other local and state agencies.

Thousands of hours have been dedicated by Klassy to emergency services during his 35 years of volunteering for CAP.  He has however also held the positions of squadron commander, group commander and operations officer in the state of Wisconsin.  It is no exaggeration to state that he is one of Wisconsin Wing’s hardest working and dedicated members.

Missions can only be successful with the right leadership and with dedicated members to follow and carry out the plan.  Wisconsin Wing and the Great Lakes Region Civil Air Patrol recognize the leadership quality that Klassy possesses and utilizes to make any mission a success.

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