About the Civil Air Patrol
The Civil Air Patrol is the official Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. We have three primary missions: Aerospace Education, Emergency Services and Cadet Programs.
Our Aerospace Education program promotes and supports air and space education, both for its own members and the general public. CAP educational programs help prepare American citizens to meet the challenges of a sophisticated aerospace society and understand its related issues.
While CAP Emergency Services has long been associated with search and rescue missions, its work also includes disaster relief and communications, as well as counterdrug and homeland security missions. Search and rescue remains an important service provided by CAP members, however. CAP flies 95 percent of all federal inland SAR missions, as directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) at Langley AFB, Va. CAP also supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Finally, the CAP Cadet Program builds strong citizens for the future by providing leadership training, technical education, scholarships and career education to young men and women, ages 12 to 21. Thousands of young people have their first orientation flights through the cadet program, and hundreds have soloed in gliders and powered aircraft. Tens of thousands have attended CAP encampments throughout the nation. At a national encampment, CAP cadets gather from throughout the nation. They may learn techniques for search and rescue and disaster relief. They may sample possible career choices by studying with a university engineering or technology department. They may learn teamwork and leadership through competitions in problem-solving and physical endurance.