What We Do and Our Missions
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 60,000 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.
“Supporting America's communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space, and cyber power.”
Always prepared, both in the air and on the ground, members of the 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 states/local communities as a nonprofit organization. Ever vigilant, these true patriots make a difference in their communities, not only to assist in times of disaster but also to search for the lost and protect the homeland.
Best known for its members’ work in search and rescue and disaster relief missions, CAP is expanding its role in the 21st century to include an increasing number of homeland security operations and exercises. CAP also performs counterdrug reconnaissance missions at the request of law enforcement agencies and can do radiological monitoring and damage assessment. CAP members undergo rigorous training to perform these missions safely and cost-effectively.
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 of CAP’s cadet program.
CAP maintains both internal and external aerospace education programs. CAP members, both adults, and cadets follow a rigorous program to learn about aviation and aerospace principles. CAP also reaches out to the general public through a special program for teachers at all grade levels. Through this program, CAP provides free classroom materials and lesson plans for aerospace education, and each year sponsors the premier national conference in this field.
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.
CAP’s cadet program trains young men and women in teamwork, moral leadership, aerospace education, technical skills to support emergency services, and military history and customs. Through national encampments, a college and flight training scholarship program, and the International Air Cadet Exchange, CAP cadets broaden their horizons, learn to assume responsibility, feel self-confidence, and set goals for their lives.
Senior Members do so much more than just fly; they 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