Sheriff's Aero Squadron

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Aero Squadron is an active group of volunteer pilots who donate their time and the use of personal or rented aircraft for missions supporting the Sheriff’s Department or other Law Enforcement organizations. The official purpose as stated in the Aero Squadron’s By-Laws is as follows:

Aero Squadron Purpose
“The Monterey County Sheriff’s Aero Squadron is formed, and shall exist, for the purpose of assisting the Sheriff of Monterey County in the performance of any of the duties of his office, as he shall determine, and in particular, to furnish assistance from the air during times of emergencies or disaster or other missions as directed by the Sheriff. No member or individual shall take it upon themselves to activate any form of law enforcement mission without the direct consent and approval of the Sheriff or his designee.”

The current members of the Aero Squadron come from a variety of backgrounds including retired and active law enforcement, ex-military, professional flight training, airline pilots, the Medical Profession, Engineering and Financial Management. Despite the wide diversity of career backgrounds, these pilots all share a passion for flying and a desire to serve their community. The current roster of members is as follows:

Roster of Aero Squadron as of November 2012

  • Liaison Officer - Sgt. Joe Moses, Monterey County Sheriff's Office

  • Commander/Pilot Member - Don Ratcliff

  • Previous Commander/Pilot Member - Dr. James Vawter

  • Vice Commander & Treasurer/Pilot Member - Joe Pavlat

  • Secretary/Pilot Member - Ken Petersen

  • Safety Pilot/Pilot Member - Jon DeLeuw

  • Operations Officer/Pilot Member - BG John Lotz

  • Historian/Pilot Member - Paul Phillips

  • Pilot Member - Pierre D. Avenas

  • Pilot Member - John Blatnik

  • Pilot Member - Irene Okita Blodget

  • Pilot Member - Jeff Cuskey

  • Pilot Member - Sean Gast

  • Pilot Member - Jimmy Graham

  • Pilot Member - Francis Kuehl

  • Pilot Member - Michael P. Marquard

  • Pilot Member - Barry Perkins

  • Pilot Member - Ron Phoebus

  • Pilot Member - Gary Plummer

  • Pilot Member - R. Jay Roland

  • Pilot Member - Jerry Shull



For the pilots who fly, their satisfaction comes from the knowledge that they have had an opportunity to serve their community.