Emergency Services

Growing from its World War II experience, Civil Air Patrol has continued to save lives and alleviate human suffering through a myriad of emergency services and operational missions.

Search and Rescue   
Perhaps best known for its search and rescue efforts, CAP flies more than 90 percent of all federal inland search and rescue missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Outside the continental United States, CAP supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Just how effective are the CAP missions? 54 people were saved in 2011 by CAP members!

Disaster Relief 
Another important service CAP performs is disaster relief operations. CAP provides air and ground transportation and an extensive communications network. Volunteer members fly disaster relief officials to remote locations and provide manpower and leadership to local, state and national disaster relief organizations. CAP has formal agreements with many government and humanitarian relief agencies including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Humanitarian Services 
CAP flies humanitarian missions transporting time-sensitive medical materials including blood and human tissue in situations where other means of transportation are not available.

Air Force Support
It’s hardly surprising that CAP performs several missions in direct support of the U.S. Air Force. Specifically, CAP conducts light transport, communications support, and low-altitude route surveys. CAP also provides orientation flights for AFROTC cadets. Joint U.S. Air Force and CAP search-and-rescue exercises provide realistic training for missions.

CAP joined the “war on drugs” in 1986 when, pursuant to congressional authorization, CAP signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Customs Service offering CAP resources to help stem the flow of drugs into and within the United States.