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Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF). CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and occupations. It performs three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services, which includes search and rescue (by air and ground), disaster relief, and homeland security operations; aerospace education for youth and the general public; and cadet programs for teenage youth. CAP also performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross.

Nationwide, CAP is a major operator of single-engine general aviation aircraft, used in the execution of our various missions, including orientation flights for cadets and the provision of significant emergency services capabilities. Because of these extensive flying opportunities, many CAP members become licensed pilots.

Portions of this section are excerpts from Volunteer magazine, May – July 2009

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