Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron, NER-NY-153

Civil Air Patrol - The official auxiliary of the United States Air Force

CAP Today

What is the Civil Air Patrol today?


The Civil Air Patrol is the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF). It is a volunteer organization with a strongly aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds and walks of life.  It performs three key missions: Emergency Services (including search and rescue), Aerospace Education for youth and the general public, and Cadet Programs.

The Civil Air Patrol is a private, nonprofit, civilian corporation and, by Congressional charter, is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force.  There are eight geographical regions composed of 52 wings -- one for each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.  Wings are divided into groups, squadrons and flights for a total of 1,900 units and, as of 2005, has more than 58,000 Cadets and Senior Members.  CAP corporation and its members own and operate more that 5,000 light aircraft (the world's largest civilian fleet of airrcraft) and volunteers fly about 140,000 hours each year on CAP missions.  The National Headquarters is located at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.


For the past 60 years, CAP has aggressively performed its missions:


Emergency Services - CAP performs Search and Rescue (SAR) missions and disaster relief, provides assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for transportation of personnel, rescue equipment, blood donations, etc., ...


Cadet Programs - A comprehensive program for youth (12-21) that includes teamwork and leadership-building activities, aerospace education, physical fitness training and testing, moral leadership, orientation flights as an introduction to flying, plus training and participation in Emergency Services Search and Rescue Exercises (SAREX's) and actual missions.


Aerospace Education - CAP educates its members and the general public about aviation and aerospace. Grant money and educational material packages are available to public schools, please contact us for further information.


CAP is a non-profit civilian organization, however, as the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, it comes as no surprise that it is organized along military customs, courtesies and grade/rank structure.




USAF Video - Your Air Force

History of CAP


The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded on December 1, 1941 by over 150,000 citizens concerned about the defense of America's coastline.  Their efforts were led by writer and aviator Gill Robb Wilson, and supported by General Henry "Hap" Arnold.  In 1943, CAP was assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Forces. Assisting the War Department, CAP pilots flew over one-half million hours, were credited with sinking two enemy submarines, and rescued hundreds of crash survivors during World War II. 


Above - The flight-line at Coastal Patrol Base 17, located at what is now Gabreski-Westhampton Airport, and operated between July 1942 and August 1943.


On July 1, 1946, President Truman established CAP as a federally charted benevolent civilian corporation. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557, which made CAP the official auxiliary of the new United States Air Force.  CAP was charged by Congress with three missions:  Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs and Emergency Services.



Civil Air Patrol Videos

CAP Meets The Sky

CAP - Technology

Cadet Flying

C130 Orientation Flight

Cadet Encampment

Emergency Services GTM Training

Balloon Festival

Cadet Activity

Cadet Flightline Crew