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What is Civil Air Patrol?

How big is the civil air patrol?

Civil Air Patrol operates the largest fleet of single-engine aircraft in the US.

More than 150,000 citizens who were concerned about defending the US coastline petitioned the US government to organize a voluntary coastal patrol. Just a week before the December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded.

Originally, the CAP was under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Forces, and during WWII CAP pilots flew more than half a million hours, were credited with sinking two enemy submarines, and rescued hundreds of accident survivors. during the war.

On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman established CAP as a benevolent civil corporation authorized by the federal government, and Congress passed Public Law 557 on May 26, 1948, making CAP the auxiliary of the new Air Force. CAP was tasked with three main missions: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.

When national planes don’t reach their destination … CAP is to the rescue.

During 2008, CAP members were credited with saving 91 lives.

Today CAP consists of 52 wings (the 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico). The country is divided into eight geographic regions. -CAP includes approximately 1,600 units nationwide -Currently has more than 53,000 members -Operates one of the largest fleets of single-engine piston aircraft in the world, with 550 currently in the fleet -Fly, through volunteer members, close to 110,000 hours each year and maintains a fleet of 1,000 emergency services vehicles for training and mission support. When national planes don’t reach their destination … CAP is to the rescue. During 2008, CAP members were recognized for saving 91 lives. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center assigned more than 90% of its inland search and rescue missions to CAP. This includes lost or expired aircraft, emergency location transmitter signals, and missing persons.

CAP cadets and senior members are authorized to wear uniforms and insignia similar to those worn by U.S. Air Force personnel. Senior members provide their own uniforms, while cadet uniforms are provided free of charge per CHAP.

CAP participates in disaster relief missions by providing ground equipment and aerial surveillance. Their involvement in Homeland Security has increased significantly and CAP aircraft are used for aerial surveillance during anti-drug missions.

Many of our citizens remember that day of the terrorist attacks as, “A day that will live in infamy.” On September 11, 2001, when the truth of what had happened became clear, the FAA ordered all domestic aircraft in flight to land at the nearest airport. In a short time silence dominated the skies. But then the sound of a single engine, four seats, red, white and blue Cessna broke the silence over the place where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center once stood. This CAP aircraft provided the world with the first aerial photographs of the devastation below.

CAP’s involvement in Homeland Security began during World War II when CAP crews not only sank and damaged several Nazi submarines, but also towed targets through the skies providing aerial artillery drills for the nation’s military pilots.

Today, CAP continues National Security service to our nation by flying into no-fly zones and temporary flight restricted areas that provide real-time moving targets for interception missions by military aircraft.

When a hurricane makes landfall, CAP’s ground teams move to affected areas to assist in the evacuation of survivors, fill sandbags, provide radio communications when phone lines are down, and whatever else is due. do. When the clouds disappear, CAP planes are in the air taking aerial photographs of the destruction and sending them via satellite to ground stations and local emergency management officials.

CAP pilots are among the best trained …

CAP members maintain the highest level of proficiency through regular training missions that simulate worst-case scenarios. Pilots must undergo an annual flight review with CAP verification pilots. Civilian pilots must do this every two years. CAP cadets are eligible to apply to the National Flight Academy, where they can qualify to fly CAP aircraft. Ground teams train during search and rescue exercises (SAREX). They learn to read maps, find radio directions, and air-to-ground communications.

Guiding cadets is an important function of CAP. Great things happen when these young people see a need and then meet it. For example, Cadet Kyle Zobel, a member of the Raleigh-Wake Composite Squad, which is based out of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, wanted his high school to sponsor a squad of cadets. Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School had an active leadership program and was looking to expand it with more hands-on programs. Zobel compiled facts and figures describing CAP’s accomplishments and took his proposal to school officials. Ms. Bridget Bryant, Leadership Program Coordinator, stepped up and assisted Zobel in his search. Bryant’s dedication to the project was evident when he applied for CAP membership. The CAP Bulldog Squad is the first to be sponsored by the North Carolina public school system.

It was a great privilege for the author to attend the ceremony in which NC Wing Commander, Col. Roy Douglass presented his charter to the squad.

CAP is not just for pilots

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

CAP is not everybody about flying planes. While many CAP members are aviation enthusiasts, many other specialties are needed. CAP maintains a national network of very high frequency (VHF) repeaters and a long range high frequency (HF) communications system. Administrative, Personal Development, Finance, Security, Legal, Medical, Chaplain Service, Medication Demand Reduction are just a few of the specialties available.

Older members can join at age 18. There is NO mandatory retirement age. CAP has many highly trained pilots who are past the age to receive Social Security benefits. The age of cadets is 12 to 18 years old, but a cadet can choose to remain as a member as a cadet until they are 21 years old.

FBI criminal background checks are required for older members. Older adults enter CAP without rank, but after completing Level One and Cadet Protection Training they can be promoted to 2nd. Lieutenant. The highest grade for the elderly is Lieutenant Colonel. Members get promotions, just like they do in the military, they earn them. Wing Commanders receive the rank of Colonel when they serve in that position. The highest rank in CAP is Major General. This rank is reserved for the CAP National Commander. Change. Gen. Amy Courter currently serves in this position. Yes, it is true, there is no glass ceiling for women in CAP.

Cadets working through training programs learn discipline, leadership, and are immersed in aerospace education. Cadets who achieve the rank of officer are eligible for many scholarship opportunities. Train CAP cadets are currently enrolled in the nation’s military academies. Nearly 10% of the freshman class at the US Air Force Academy each year are CAP Cadets.

The most recent space shuttle mission commander was Eric Boe, to form CAP Cadet.

This great nation wouldn’t be so great if ordinary people stopped putting in their extra time to volunteer their talents for something worthwhile. The typical CAP squad will have doctors, lawyers, office workers, IT specialists, truck drivers, factory workers, vendors, fast food workers, you name it, we’ve got it. We all join the top tier of membership, but … the sky’s the limit!

Civil Air Patrol is a collection of ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

Civil air patrol: Citizens at the service of communities … beyond

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