From left, outgoing Maine Wing Civil Air Patrol Commander James Jordan, welcomes incoming Maine Wing Commander Blain Cote, incoming commander of the York County Squadron Andrew Goldman and Jack Ozer, Commander of the Northeast Region, following installation ceremonies Sunday in Berwick. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

BERWICK – When the Civil Air Patrol was formed in November 1941, just a week before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, two Maine squadrons – at Trenton, near Bar Harbor, and Portland, had already been at work since April, patrolling coastal waters.

These days, there are 11 squadrons, and on Sunday, a new state commander hailing from York County was installed.

Blain Cote, who worked to establish a York County presence of the Civil Air Patrol earlier this decade, was named commander of the Maine Wing and promoted to Colonel.

He succeeds James Jordan of Hermon, who commanded the Maine Wing for nearly five years.

Cote, who is the operations and training division chief for York County Emergency Management Agency in Alfred, has had led the York County squadron, based in Sanford, since 2014. On Sunday, he saw Major Andrew Goldman promoted as the new commander of the county squad.

Goldman said he watched the York County CAP change from a “flight” – a division of another squadron – to its own squad under Cote’s watch.

“(The squadron) has grown in many ways under Blain’s leadership,” said Goldman. “I’m looking forward to more growth and helping cadets advance in the program and become more involved in emergency services and aerospace education.”

Goldman, a physician at Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford, said he wants the squadron, which currently boasts more than two dozen members, to be a resource for the community.

Young people 12 to 18 can join as cadets. The cadets learn to fly – CAP is the auxiliary of the U.S Air Force – and they learn a lot more, he said. Adult members, who may be retired military, though it isn’t required, help teach and guide the cadets.

“(CAP) gives cadets a sense of volunteerism and community service as they learn to be future leaders,” Goldman said. “It keeps them engaged in proactive activities.”

The Maine Wing was first formed as part of the Office of Civil Defense in April 1941 to patrol for enemy submarines and escort Liberty ships and fuel oil ships from Bath Iron Works and Portland Harbor.

One week before the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Maine Wing became part of the Civil Air Patrol.

These days, the CAP, which is all volunteer, helps in emergencies, search and rescue patrols, and in patrolling the skies for forest fires.

The York County Squadron, which is accepting new members, meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the big blue hangar on Presidential Lane at Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport.

On Sunday, outgoing Maine Wing Commander James Jordan conducted the ceremony that saw Goldman become commander of the York County Squadron.

Col Jack Ozer, Commander of the Northeast Region, officiated at the ceremony that changed command of the Maine Wing from Jordan to Cote, first presenting Jordan with a distinguished service award.

Cote said essentially, he’s the corporate officer of CAP for the state, making sure national policy is followed ,and the like.

“I’m honored and thrilled, said Cote. “Its a big step and I have big shoes to fill.”

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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