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

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

Emergency Services


                                            Major Peter Cubano

Emergency Services consists of Search And Rescue (SAR), patrolling, damage assessment, and disaster services.


A SAR mission is activated whenever (1) an alert is received that an Emergency Locater Transmitter (ELT) or  Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signal has been detected in our area or (2) an aircraft is overdue at the airport of intended landing, and its' flightpath is within the Long Island Group's geographical area.  In either case, an air search is launched using a CAP aircraft, with a flight crew consisting of mission pilot, mission observer and mission scanner [all CAP Senior Members].  On an ELT search, they use a Direction Finding (DF) radio in the aircraft to home in on the radio-frequency signal. When they have narrowed the search as much as possible, a CAP Ground Team consisting of CAP Senior Members and Cadets is called in to locate the source transmitter using hand-held radio-frequency direction finding instrumentation.


If there has been no ELT/EPIRB activation but an aircraft is overdue or missing, the search starts between the airfield where the aircraft launched and its intended place of landing.  If not located in those environs, the search area is expanded using radar tracks and all available sources of information.  In these instances, CAP Air Crews and Ground Teams would be searching for both the aircraft and evidence of damage to the environment caused by the aircraft's forced landing or impact.


CAP Air Crew and Ground Teams also are tasked by FEMA and other emergency services organizations to patrol specific areas of interest [e.g., Flight 800 impact site] and to fly damage assessment missions (e.g., damage resulting from Hurricane Gloria).


In local emergencies, authorities call upon CAP for disaster services and support. In the L.I. Pine Barrens fire, CAP Air Crews aided fire fighters on the ground by scanning for flare-ups [fire restarts in areas previously extinguished] and CAP Ground Teams did security duty at the evacuation centers.


In order to successfully participate in missions and scenarios requiring emergency services, CAP Senior Members and Cadets are trained in many skills required in search and rescue.  Some of these are land navigation/map reading, radio-frequency direction finding, first aid, and safety.  Practice missions called Search and Rescue Exercises (SAREX’s) are periodically scheduled to keep trained personnel sharp.

CAP - Videos

Civil Air Patrol Emergency Services


Civil Air Patrol Emergency Services



U.S. Air Force - Operational Security (OPSEC) Presentation



Emergency Services training for CAP personnel takes place:


1)  On the CAP National Headquarters (NHQ) website (EServices),

2)  On the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website,

3)  As part of New York Wing  (NYWG) and Long Island Group (LIG) training and exercise activities, and

4)  As part of Suffolk Cadet Squadron VII (SCSVII) training and exercise activities.

Suffolk Cadet Squadron VII; ES Training Class