Civil Air Patrol
CIVIL AIR PATROL
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force. It was founded December 1st, 1941, one week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. An all volunteer organization, the original purpose of the CAP was to take advantage of the fleet of privately owned aircraft in the USA - and to use that resource to protect the coastlines of the US. The CAP proved very successful in spotting survivors from German U-boat attacks on the eastern seaboard. In fact, the CAP was credited with sinking several German subs using makeshift bombing devices from small aircraft!
Today, the Civil Air Patrol has grown to be an organization that has over 60,000 members, including over 27,000 cadets ages 12-21. The CAP owns and operates the world's largest fleet of single-engine piston aircraft; operates the nation's most extensive communications network; and maintains over 1,000 emergency service vehicles. The CAP is headquartered at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery AL.
The CAP performs 95% of the inland search and rescue missions when a general aviation aircraft goes missing. They do aerial reconnaissance for Homeland Security, disaster relief and damage assessment, transport medical personnel and medical materials, and they also participate in counter-narcotic missions. Most recently the CAP is being used to fly reconnaissance missions to support the Border Patrol.
The Cadet Programs include leadership training, glider and powered flight orientation flights, glider academies where cadets learn to fly gliders, flight training scholarships and an International Cadet Exchange Program. The CAP has a strong aerospace education program. Each year, they conduct more than 100 aerospace workshops that involve more than 900 educators.
The leadership training and education provided by the CAP plus the community service provided by the CAP is a real resume enhancer for young people intent on getting an education. It is estimated that 20% if the young people who are accepted at the service academies have been members of the CAP.
Click here for more information about the CAP.
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