From the very beginning, The United States Civil Air Patrol (the US Air Force Auxiliary) has become well-known for its search activities in conjunction with search and rescue (SAR) operations. Today we’re the leading edge! Most aircraft in this country are equipped with emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) that are activated by the impact of a crash. The signal is picked up by airliners or other aircraft, and the US Air Force (95% of the time) notifies the nearest Civil Air Patrol unit. The United States Civil Air Patrol is directed by the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida– and the Georgia Wing is no exception. Outside of the continental United States, the Civil Air Patrol directly supports the United States Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Is the Civil Air Patrol effective? The Civil Air Patrol is credited with saving an average of 100 American lives per year!
An Overview of the Civil Air Patrol
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. While the CAP is sponsored by the Air Force, it is not an operating reserve component under the Air Force or the federal government. CAP is a non-profit volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and occupations.
It performs three congressionally assigned key missions (see tab’s for more information in this area):
- Aerospace Education for youth and the general public
- Cadet Programs for teenage youth.
- Emergency Services, which includes search and rescue (by air and ground) and disaster recovery operations
In addition, CAP has recently been tasked with homeland security and courier service missions.