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Missions of Civil Air Patrol

Missions of Civil Air Patrol

Aerospace Education

Civil Air Patrol's aerospace education programs provide its members and the educational community information about aviation and space activities. Each year it supports about 200 aerospace education workshops for teachers at approximately 100 colleges and universities around the country, preparing an estimated 5,000 teachers to teach aerospace-related subjects in their classrooms. The National Congress on Aviation and Space Education, an annual national convention for aerospace teachers is one of CAP's major contributions to the nation's aerospace education. The organization also develops curriculum and publishes aerospace educational materials for use in the nation's schools.

Click here to learn more about Aerospace Education.

Cadet Programs

The purpose of the Cadet Program is to inspire the country's youth to become leaders and good citizens through their interest in aerospace. It is open to U.S. citizens and legal residents of the United States, its territories and possessions. New cadets must join between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age, and have satisfactorily completed the fifth grade. Members who have joined the Cadet Program before age 18 may remain a cadet until age 21.

Through studies and other activities, cadets progress through achievements that include special activities, aerospace education, leadership programs, moral leadership and physical fitness. As cadets progress they earn increased rank, awards or certificates. They may become eligible for CAP national or international special activities and compete for academic and flying scholarships. Upon completion of the first two training phases, cadets receive the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award, which entitles them to enter the Air Force as an Airman First Class, should they choose to enlist.

Click here to learn more about Cadet Programs.

Emergency Services

While CAP 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 still 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

On average, each year CAP members fly more than 100,000 hours in operational missions and save about 100 lives. CAP provides air and ground support for disaster relief, flying officials to remote locations, transporting blood or live tissue to critical care sites and performing aerial damage assessment.

CAP has one of the largest unified communications networks in the country, available 24/7.

In 1986, Congress authorized CAP to assist government and law enforcement agencies in the fight to eliminate illicit drug use, production and sale in the US and its territories. CAP now provides reconnaissance, communications and transportation for counterdrug missions.

CAP's missions succeed through a seamless interplay of technology and teamwork. With new developments like satellite imagery, hyperspectral imaging and internet-based reporting, CAP is emerging as the resource of choice to support our nation's strategy for homeland security.

Click here to learn more about Emergency Services.

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