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Civil Air Patrol: What we do

WHAT WE DO

Civil Air Patrol is America’s premier public service organization for carrying out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide. As the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP’s vigilant citizen volunteers are there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster, and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 56,000 members selflessly devote their time, energy, and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program.

“Volunteers serving America's communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.”


EMERGENCY SERVICES

Always prepared, both in the air and on the ground, members of Civil Air Patrol perform emergency services for state and local agencies as well as the federal government as the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and for states/local communities as a nonprofit organization. Ever vigilant, these true patriots make a difference in their communities, not only assisting in times of disaster but also searching for the lost and protecting the homeland. 

AEROSPACE EDUCATION

Civil Air Patrol’s awarding-winning aerospace education program promotes aerospace, aviation, and STEM-related careers with engaging, standards-based, hands-on curriculum and activities. It shapes the experiences and aspirations of youth both in and outside CAP’s cadet program.

CADET PROGRAMS

Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program transforms youth into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders through a curriculum that focuses on leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. As cadets participate in these four elements, they advance through a series of achievements, earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way. Many of the nation’s astronauts, pilots, engineers, and scientists first explored their careers through CAP. 


ABOUT CIVIL AIR PATROL

Since Civil Air Patrol’s formation during the earliest days of World War II, this vigilant organization of citizen Airmen has been committed to service to America. Founded on Dec. 1, 1941, to mobilize the nation's civilian aviation resources for national defense service, CAP has evolved into a premier public service organization that still carries out emergency service missions when needed — in the air and on the ground.

As a Total Force partner and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 56,000 members selflessly devote their time, energy, and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace/STEM education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program.

Civil Air Patrol’s missions for America are many, and today’s adults and cadets perform their duties with the same vigilance as its founding members — preserving CAP’s 80-year legacy of service while maintaining its commitment to nearly 1,500 communities nationwide.

Mission/Vision Statement

Volunteers Serving America’s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures

Core Values

Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, and Respect.

Civil Air Patrol has more than 38,000 adult members and more than 28,000 cadets in more than 1,500 units with an organizational pattern and rank structure similar to that of the Air Force. CAP has eight geographical regions composed of 52 wings, one for each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Wings are divided into groups, squadrons and flights. The CAP national headquarters is co-located with the CAP-USAF headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Civil Air Patrol is a federally chartered non-profit corporation that is also the Air Force auxiliary. CAP’s mission is supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development and promotion of air, space and cyber power through aerospace education. CAP flies a wide range of operational missions daily, including search and rescue, disaster response and supporting counterdrug operations.

© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.
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