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Who We Are

Since Civil Air Patrol’s formation during the earliest days of World War II, this vigilant organization of citizen Airmen has been committed to service to America. Founded on Dec. 1, 1941, to mobilize the nation's civilian aviation resources for national defense service, CAP has evolved into a premier public service organization that still carries out emergency service missions when needed — in the air and on the ground.


As a Total Force partner and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 66,000+ members selflessly devote their time, energy, and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation, space, cyber security and related fields through aerospace/STEM education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program.


Civil Air Patrol’s missions for America are many, and today’s adults and cadets perform their duties with the same vigilance as its founding members — preserving CAP’s 80-year legacy of service while maintaining its commitment to nearly 1,500 communities nationwide.

Some interesting facts:

  • 117 lives saved and 534 finds through Air Force-assigned search and rescue efforts in 2019, thanks in large part to the assistance of CAP’s National Cell Phone Forensics and Radar Analysis teams. 

  • 560 single-engine planes currently available in the CAP fleet, one of the largest in the world. 

  • 35,000+ orientation flights flown for cadets, Air Force ROTC and Junior ROTC cadets. 

  • 66,000+ volunteer youth and adult members nationwide in 1442 squadrons. 

  • 95,000+ hours flown in 2019 conducting Air Force-assigned missions as well as support for states and communities. 

  • 600,000+ youth impacted through CAP’s aerospace/STEM program. 

  • $2.4M from the Air Force used to provide CAP cadet training aimed at helping reduce the nation’s pilot shortage. 

  • $208M+ contributed in man-hours in the past year, serving the disaster relief and emergency service needs of communities, states and the nation. 

 

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