Missions

Emergency Services

 
Growing from its World War II experience, the Civil Air Patrol has continued to save lives and alleviate human suffering through a myriad of emergency-services and operational missions.

Search And Rescue

Perhaps best known for its search-and-rescue efforts, CAP flies more than 85 percent of all federal inland search-and-rescue missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fl. Outside the continental United States, CAP supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Just how effective are the CAP missions? Nearly 100 people are saved each year by CAP members.

Disaster Relief 

Another important service CAP performs is disaster-relief operations. CAP provides air and ground transportation and an extensive communications network. Volunteer members fly disaster-relief officials to remote locations and provide manpower and leadership to local, state and national disaster-relief organizations. CAP has formal agreements with many government and humanitarian relief agencies including the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Humanitarian Services 

CAP flies humanitarian missions, usually in support of the Red Cross-transporting time-sensitive medical materials including blood and human tissue, in situations where other means of transportation are not available.

Air Force Support 

It's hardly surprising that CAP performs several missions in direct support of the U.S. Air Force. Specifically, CAP conducts light transport, communications support, and low-altitude route surveys. CAP also provides orientation flights for AFROTC cadets. Joint U.S. Air Force and CAP search-and-rescue exercises provide realistic training for missions.

Counterdrug

CAP joined the "war on drugs" in 1986 when, pursuant to congressional authorization, CAP signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Customs Service offering CAP resources to help stem the flow of drugs into and within the United States.

 

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Cadet Programs

 
 
 
CAP’s cadet programs are designed to inspire the country's youth to become leaders and good American citizens through their interest in aerospace. Would you like to honor and serve America? Do you want to prepare for your future while making new friends? Then rise to the challenge of cadet membership in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol.

Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.

To become a cadet, you must be be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old. Cadets meet 2 hours per week and one Saturday per month, on average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer. Click here for more information on CAP Cadet programs: Cadet Programs
 

Can I Join?

Ready to join CAP as an active member?  Get started by clicking here.

When And Where?

Start by finding the unit nearest you by using the CAP Unit Locator.  

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Senior Programs

 
     

Senior Member Overview

Though Civil Air Patrol is known for its flying missions, CAP adults members, known as Senior Members, do so much more than just fly. In fact less than a fifth of all CAP members are pilots or aircrew members. CAP adult members come from all walks of life. Some are doctors, nurses, paramedics, or other medical professionals. Others are lawyers, paralegals, accountants, computer programmers, and other business professionals and executives. Mechanics, cooks, teachers, police officers, clergy, parents, really just about any career or background can be useful to and found in the ranks of the CAP adult membership. CAP supports a variety of missions that require adults from all walks of life that you may not know about.


In emergency services and operations we not only need aircrew members, but also ground team members to aid in the rescue of survivors or to assess damage after a disaster. CAP needs communications personnel to relay critical messages when there is limited or no telephone support. Administrative staff, financial managers, logistics and supply personnel are needed to document missions and get personnel critical supplies and equipment in the field that they need to conduct missions.

CAP also needs adults to support the cadet program. CAP has over 26,000 cadets across the country that need mentors willing to help guide and support them. The cadet program provides young adults between the ages of 12 and 21 a well rounded program of leadership, aerospace education, physical fitness, and moral and ethical decision making. In today’s world we need good people who are willing to step up and help provide a healthy, drug-free environment to develop tomorrow’s leaders. Many former cadets have gone into the military, government jobs, or private sector employment where they can and do make a difference, and really excel. There are many military general officers that were once CAP cadets. Senators and congressman, CEOs and corporate executives, and others credit their success to CAP and the adult members who mentored them.

CAP needs adults for its aerospace education program. In addition to educating our own members, CAP’s adult leaders provide training and resources to teachers who reach out to students of all ages across the country. Aviation and aerospace impacts the lives of Americans every day, and CAP works to ensure that citizens know the how valuable aviation and aerospace is in our world.

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