What We Do

When Congress established Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force in 1948, it also defined three primary missions for CAP to perform: Emergency Services, Cadet Programs, and Aerospace Education. These are known within CAP as our “Missions for America”.

CAP is best known for its Emergency Services mission, a direct descendent from the coastal patrol work it performed during World War II. Today, Emergency Services includes not only Search And Rescue (both in the air and on the ground) but also Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Services, Air Force Support, and Counterdrug missions. Learn more about these important jobs on our Emergency Services page.

CAP’s Cadet Programs provide an excellent foundation for youths age 12-20 to develop leadership skills, self-confidence, a desire for learning, and a positive attitude. To learn more about the program and how CAP helps prepare youth to be future leaders, visit our Cadet Programs page.

CAP’s Aerospace Education mission strives to keep its members and the general public informed on advances in aerospace technology, air power, and current aerospace issues. Learn more about how CAP promotes the importance of aerospace and air power to others on our Aerospace Education page.