“The food here is terrible and the portions are too small.” ― Woody Allen
California Wing is very pleased to welcome the following dignitaries as part of the 2020 Pacific Coast Region Change of Command
Lieutenant Colonel Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell, USAF is the first Black Female fighter pilot in the history of the United States Air Force. Lt Col Kimbrell was born in Lafayette, Indiana, and later moved to Parker, Colorado, where she discovered her dream of becoming a fighter pilot. In the 1990’s, Lt Col Kimbrell joined the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet which heightened her love for aviation. Through CAP, Lt Col Kimbrell obtained her private pilot’s license and worked to be accepted in to the United States Air Force Academy, graduating in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Engineering. In 1999, Lt Col Kimbrell earned her pilot wings, propelling her to a long career in aviation.
General Mark Smith, CAP is the 24th National Commander of Civil Air Patrol. General Smith joined CAP in 2005, four years after retiring from his 26 year USAF service. Highlights of his service tenure include commanding the 27th Fighter Squadron, being an International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA) Board Member and as the first Chair of the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization’s Executive Committee. and much more. He holds a Master’s of Aviation in Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, and Bachelor’s of Science in International Affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Brigadier General Edward D. Phelka, CAP is the National Vice Commander of Civil Air Patrol. His primary duty is to assist the CAP National Commander in leading CAP’s more than 60,000 volunteers in fulfillment of the nonprofit organization’s three congressionally chartered missions of Emergency Services, Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education, as well as its steadily increasing role in America’s Homeland Security as the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force.
Prior to assuming his current role, Gen Phelka served as Commander for CAP Great Lakes Region, CAP-NHQ National Controller, as well as numerous Wing and Group level leadership roles in both Michigan and Colorado.
Gen Phelka joined Civil Air Patrol as a Michigan Wing cadet in 1987, earning the General Carl A. Spaatz Award in 1993, and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, in economics and German language..
Gen Phelka is a Certificated Flight Instructor and a CAP Command Pilot, Mission Pilot, and Check Pilot Examiner. Outside of CAP, he spent 15 years in leadership roles within the airline and software industries, and currently works as a Flight Instructor and Corporate Pilot.
Colonel Jon L. Stokes, CAP is the Commander of the Pacific Region, the largest geographic region in the nation encompassing the 1.2 million square miles of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. As region commander, Col Stokes is responsible for setting the operational direction of region with a fleet of 87 aircraft and leading over 7,600 Airmen.
In 2015, Col Stokes was named Director of the Wing Commander College (WCC) at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama and served a full three year term ending in 2017. He was responsible for developing and implementing the training curriculum for all new wing commanders from the 52 wings throughout the United States as well as developing the ongoing in-service training of the commanders throughout their command terms.
Col Stokes joined the Civil Air Patrol in 2002 with the San Bernardino Senior Squadron #5 in the California Wing and was initially appointed the Emergency Services Training Officer. In 2003, he became a qualified Mission Observer and since, has amassed over 400 flight hours as a master-rated observer in both the Cessna 182 and 206 aircraft platforms. Col Stokes has served in numerous command, operational and support positions including operations officer, aerospace education officer, emergency services officer, squadron commander, group commander, incident commander and vice wing commander. Prior to his current assignment, he served a four year term as Wing Commander of the California Wing. Concurrent to his serving as California Wing Commander, Col Stokes served as one of three voting members of the CAP National Finance Committee from 2012 to 2016. Col Stokes currently serves on the CAP Senior Advisory Group.
Colonel (sel) George K. Ishikata, CAP has been selected as the new Commander of Civil Air Patrol Pacific Region. Col Ishikata succeeds Col Jon Stokes, who has commanded the region since 2016.
Col Ishikata’s CAP career began in 1977, where he served as a cadet before embarking on a career in the Army. Over the past 43 years, alongside his military service, he has served at multiple levels of CAP, leading the San Francisco Cadet Squadron and, more recently, in various roles at wing and national levels.
Col Ishikata has been the national Cadet Programs staff coordinator since September 2017, served as the past director of cadet programs for the California Wing, as well as the course director for the Pacific Region Cadet Leadership School and commander of the California Wing’s Cadet Officer Basic Course. He has also actively served with the national Cadet Officer School and with the International Air Cadet Exchange.
Col Ishikata is a CAP Mission Radio Operator and Mission Staff Assistant and is training to be a Mission Safety Officer and small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) technician. He has a master rating in command and administration as well as cadet programs, and senior ratings in finance, logistics and historian.
Equally as impressive as his array of CAP credentials is Col Ishikata’s service in the Army, from which he retired as a colonel. He served in intelligence operations as an Army military intelligence officer, holding sensitive intel positions at the highest levels in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. He also had successful commands at the battalion level, where he gained considerable experience in budget and asset acquisition.
Col Ishikata is a graduate of San Francisco State University, with a bachelor’s degree in speech and communications studies, and the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with a master’s degree in military arts and sciences.