Civil Air Patrol is a private, nonprofit
corporation chartered under a special act of Congress. Additionally, CAP
is the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force when it performs Air Force assigned
CAP performs three main missions: Aerospace
Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services.
Aerospace Education CAP
builds enthusiasm for aviation and space through
its aerospace education programs. CAPís cadets and adult members learn
about aviation history and the scientific principles that make flight
possible. Conferences, textbooks, websites, and activity guides are
available to CAP members. The public benefits from CAPís aerospace
education programs as well, since CAP provides educators at all grade
levels with resources to incorporate aviation, space, and technology
themes into their school curriculum.
Cadet Programs Through CAPís
Cadet Program, young people from age 12 to 20 develop into responsible
citizens and are inspired to become tomorrowís aerospace leaders. The
program is organized around five elements: leadership, aerospace,
fitness, character, and activities. As cadets participate in these five
elements, they progress through a series of sixteen achievements,
earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way. Adult
volunteers supervise the cadets and help them develop leadership skills.
CAP inspires in youth a love of aviation and strives to equip them with
the discipline and skills they will need to succeed in adult life.
Emergency Services Best
known for its membersí 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 and counterdrug missions and is
incorporating digital and hyperspectral imaging technology into its
lifesaving work. CAP members undergo rigorous training to perform safe
and cost effective
missions, serving as pilots, communicators, ground team members, and
numerous other roles.
CAP is organized into regions, wings,
squadrons. Regions are
the largest and highest organization in rank. There are 8 regions, each
comprised of several wings located in a geographic area of the United
States. There are 52 wings in CAP, one for each state, the District
of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A wing is comprised of the wing headquarters
and all squadrons and flights within its geographical boundaries. The
squadron is the community-level organization of CAP and its basic
operational unit. This is the "grassroots" level of CAP, and as such,
squadrons are essential in fulfilling CAP missions.