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Our History
CAP HistoryThe Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, Civil Air Patrol logged more than 500,000 flying hours sinking two enemy submarines and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II. After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies.  On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress further defined the role and responsibility of Civil Air Patrol passing Public Law 557 designating Civil Air Patrol a civilian auxiliary of the newly formed U.S. Air Force and charging it with three primary missions; Emergency Services, Cadet Programs, and Aerospace Education.

Our Missions

The Emergency Services mission of Civil Air Patrol is to aid those who are in distress. Nationally Civil Air Patrol flies more than 90 percent of all federal inland search-and-rescue missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Civil Air Patrol assets are available to state and local Emergency Management and Public Safety agencies for search and rescue operations, aerial reconnaissance imagery, contingency tactical communications, and emergency transport of humanitarian supplies, blood, tissue, or organs.

Our MissionsIn addition to Emergency Services, CAP provides a one of a kind Cadet Program
(CP) and Aerospace Education (AE) for members and the general public.

Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program is truly unique. Using aviation as a cornerstone,
youths 12 to 20 years of age progress through a comprehensive program covering leadership, physical fitness, and aerospace education including an opportunity to
solo fly an airplane through a flight encampment or academy. Cadets earning cadet officer status may enter a United States military branch with advanced rank rather
than entry as an E1.

CAP’s third mission is to provide Aerospace Education (AE) to CAP members and the general public. For CAP members this includes graded courses covering flight physics, dynamics, history, and application. Through outreach programs, including the External Aerospace Education program, CAP helps schoolteachers integrate aviation and aerospace into the classroom by providing seminars, course materials and through sponsorship of the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education.