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I.           WHAT CAP IS

                   The Civil Air Patrol, established on 1 December 1941, is a private, volunteer, non-profit corporation of a benevolent character, incorporated by the U.S. Congress on 1 July 1946. By Public Law 80-556, the Congress established the Civil Air Patrol as the official civilian Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP remains a private organization, but the Secretary of the Air Force was given the authority to furnish assistance and accept and utilize the services of the CAP in fulfilling the non-combatant missions of the Air Force.

II.         MISSION

                 The mission of CAP as contained in Article VI of its Constitution and Bylaws is:

            A.  To provide an organization to encourage and aid American citizens in the contribution of their efforts, services, and resources in the development of aviation and in the maintenance of aerospace supremacy.                 

B. To encourage, train and develop by example the leadership of private citizens.

            C.  To provide an organization of private citizens with adequate facilities to assist in meeting local and national emergencies.


                 Civil Air Patrol cadets range in age from 12 to 21 years old.  They wear the Air Force style uniform and engage in training designed to expose them to the Air Force way of life with the goal of developing and furthering their leadership skills. Further, the training prepares the cadet to accept the responsibility and discipline needed to be a part of the unit's emergency services team.

            A.   SELF-STUDY

                     Throughout the cadet program, from Cadet Basic to Cadet Colonel, emphasis is placed on individualized study, instruction, and achievement. The five factors in the Cadet Program: Aerospace Education, Character Development, Leadership Laboratory, Activities (emergency services), and Physical Fitness are implemented through the use of counselors and instruction from other cadets.

            B.    LEADERSHIP PHASES

                 In Phase I of the Cadet Program (the Motivation Phase), all cadets learn to function in a military type environment.  They learn to march, wear the CAP uniform properly, and render military courtesies to the flag and superior officers. Phase II, the Learning Phase, builds on these newly acquired skills and also concentrates on subjects related to flight and on factors relating to the nation's aerospace power. The Leadership Phase (III) of the Cadet Program is designed to require each cadet to assume increased responsibilities, as he serves in a junior officer's leadership or staff position within the unit, performing tasks similar to the unit senior members and frequently Air Force junior officers.  The achievements in Phase IV, called the Executive Phase, are designed to provide high-level leadership and management experiences to the individual cadet, frequently at wing and national level activities.


                  Each year CAP provides a number of activities that a cadet can apply to attend.  The following is a listing a few of these and a brief description.

            1. International Air Cadet Exchange. Cadets who have completed Phase II can apply for this program in which the U.S. and foreign countries 'trade' cadets for a period of 2-3 weeks during the summer. It provides a great opportunity for cadets interested in travel and learning abroad.

            2.  Air Training Command Familiarization.  For 1-2 weeks cadet attend an Air Force pilot training facility and learn how Air Force pilots are taught to fly. One or more cadets in each course are usually taken for an orientation ride in a T-38 jet trainer aircraft.

            3. Cadet Officer School.  Cadets spend 2 weeks learning advanced leadership and management techniques from Air Force and CAP instructors at Maxwell AFB, AL.

            4.  Pararescue Orientation Course.  Cadets who attend this course (known as PJOC) receive instruction in mountaineering and ropework from experienced Air Force search and rescue specialists. .

            Many more activities are planned and conducted on wing, region and national levels. All of these are designed to provide the cadet with a good deal of training and a sense of accomplishment.


            A.  SEARCH AND RESCUE

                 CAP search and rescue units are requested to assist in SAR operations by the Air Force Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service, specifically the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndell AFB, FL. Currently, CAP conducts between 75% to 80% of all Air Force SAR operations in the continental United States.

                 Civil Air Patrol personnel who participate in search and rescue missions are specially trained volunteers. As all life-saving techniques must be carried out with speed and efficiency, CAP units have dedicated personnel to ensure that this mission is completed successfully.

            B.    DISASTER RELIEF

                 When catastrophic storms, floods, fires, and earthquakes occur, Civil Air Patrol forces are available to help the people affected. Cadet and senior members perform such tasks as manning communication systems, assisting the American Red Cross in shelter management and mass feeding operations, damage assessment missions and manual labor such as clearing debris and building dikes.

            C.    HOMELAND SECURITY

                 Civil Air Patrol's emergency services to assist local and national Homeland Security authorities are organized essentially along the same lines as those for disaster relief.  However; more emphasis is

placed upon emergency communications, courier and cargo transport missions, as well as damage assessment and reconnaissance missions.

            D.     FLIGHT SERVICES

                 The U.S. Air Force may request CAP aircrews to support its installations by aerial control of surface vehicular traffic. CAP aircraft are also used for courier or transport missions, carrying anything from SAR dogs to assist in searches in another state to vital medical supplies and donor organs.

            E.    COMMUNICATIONS

                        The CAP communications network serves three purposes:

            1. It aids in the advancement and improvement of the art and science of radio communication.

            2. Furthers the CAP aerospace education phases in communications.

            3. Coordinates with government agencies for planning and establishing procedures to meet local emergencies.

                CAP's communications network is composed of a radio system involving stations which are fixed, land mobile, water mobile and air mobile. This network is invaluable in supporting the emergency services mission of the Civil Air Patrol, as well as assisting local governments as a secondary communication system in times of emergency. Currently the Civil Air Patrol has the largest non-military radio network in the United States.


                 Assistance to law enforcement agencies or officers in the fulfillment of their duties to execute or enforce the law is not considered an authorized CAP emergency services activity. Members of CAP may aid and assist law enforcement officers in any benevolent activity, such as disaster relief, search and rescue, evacuation, and other mercy missions.  CAP members when requested by the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board may provide aircraft crash site surveillance to ensure that the wreckage is not disturbed prior to investigation.  This is done with the understanding that CAP members have no authority to restrict access to wreckage by means of force; actual or implied.


                 The Civil Air Patrol's third mission is that of promoting the understanding and learning of the importance of aerospace technology and research to the world and to the future. This is accomplished with internal and external programs.


                 CAP provides solo and flight scholarships to deserving cadets and senior members, designed to encourage members to obtain their pilot's licenses and then instruct others. Also, aerospace education is an integral part of both the cadet and senior member training programs.


                Civil Air Patrol provides teachers kits for secondary schools that are used to foster interest in the aerospace world at junior and senior high schools. Additionally, CAP wrote the textbook used by most Air Force Junior ROTC programs.

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