Ruffin native recognized by California Civil Air Patrol
by The Press and Standard | February 8, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: February 6, 2019 at 9:04 am
Bill Ulmer, who grew up near Bells Crossroads, received two awards from the Air Force Civil Air Patrol, California Wing, at the San Diego Group 8 annual awards banquet on Jan. 26 at the Montgomery Air Field in San Diego, Calif.
The first award was the group’s Mission Observer of the Year. The second was California Wing’s Observer of the Year. “The California Wing consists 1,932 senior members and it was truly an honor to receive these awards,” First Lt. Ulmer said.
His nomination for the Mission Observer Award stated:
“Mission Observer Nomination’s outstanding breadth of leadership, knowledge and professionalism describes First Lt. William “Bill” Ulmer. He is first to volunteer for flying missions, ground crew duties and other squadron functions. His work ethic is second to none and no task is too hard or time consuming for Bill. He completes complex Squadron tasks with a positive attitude and smile on his face. First Lt. Ulmer makes Squadron 87 a success.
“As a superb Mission Observer, First Lt. Ulmer assists the crew in the complex search and rescue arena. He actively participates in mission briefings, insuring the mission plan is thorough, the communication plan is complete and the search area plan is accurate.
“Additionally, his focus in not only on the search mission but the safety of the crew and integrity of the mission. His knowledge of and ability to utilize essential Civil Air Patrol search and communications equipment is second to none.
“First Lt. Ulmer’s flawless operation of the Rhotheta (Becker DF 517) results in rapid accurate identification of all types of emergency beacons. First Lt. Ulmer then communicates this information to his crew as well as the Incident Command. He uses the FM radios to coordinate air/ground search requirements, thus maximizing his crew’s effectiveness. His rapid accurate identification and emergency beacon locating ability is the very essence of the Civil Air Patrol’s Search and Rescue Mission.
“In addition, First Lt. Ulmer volunteers his time to participate in Counter Drug (CD) missions. These vital missions are flown with the concurrence of the USAF. Civil Air Patrol has established national agreements with law enforcement agencies to assist in location illicit drug trafficking and growing activities. When called upon by his unit, First Lt. Ulmer stepped up to the plate. Last year he flew nine of these critical missions, logging a total of 27 hrs.
“First Lt. Ulmer also volunteers for numerous other Squadron 87 tasks. One task that Bill excels at is Cadet Orientation Flights. This program introduces youth to general aviation through “hands-on” orientation flights. This is a safe, fun, educational program. To achieve these goals, a competent ground crew is essential. First Lt. Ulmer briefs the cadets on every aspect of these flights. He explains the mission to include aircraft pre-flight, flight instruments and essential safety information. His complete knowledge in these areas results in the cadets having an extremely positive experience. But the cadets are not the only ones to get briefed by Bill. He insures that the parents are included and thus get a sense safety and security for their children.
Finally, First Lt. “Bill” Ulmer epitomizes the very core values of the Civil Air Patrol. He is mission oriented, whether it is a search and rescue, drug interdiction or cadet orientation sortie, and is always completely prepared from start to finish. When Squadron 87 needs a hand, First Lt. Ulmer is there.”
Ulmer, who lives in San Diego, is the son of the late Mary Ulmer Carter of Bells and his sister, Nancy Thomas, still lives in the family home there.
In 2015, he accepted the director’s position with the California-Pacific Chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association. He was instrumental in reinstating manned lookout towers in that area, identifying the towers and then recruiting and training volunteers to man them.