California Wing Website
Main Content

About Civil Air Patrol

Four Civil Air Patrol members standing in front of an airplane

Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a public service organization chartered by Congress that functions both as a nonprofit and the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

Operating as a nonprofit, CAP provides an array of K-12 aerospace and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum and educational products for members and teachers; offers youth character, leadership, and career development opportunities; and provides essential community service for federal, state, and local agencies in the air and on the ground.

In its capacity as the auxiliary of the Air Force, CAP operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine aircraft. The Air Force assigns missions to the auxiliary to facilitate 90% of the inland search and rescue missions in the United States searching for missing or overdue aircraft, lost or injured hikers, stranded boaters, missing persons, and more.

Under its charter and public laws, CAP performs a variety of emergency and operational missions on demand for federal, state, and local agencies as requested through the National Operations Center (NOC) at Maxwell Air Force Base. The NOC can be reached at opscenter@capnhq.gov or 888-211-1812.

Civil Air Patrol’s mission statement is “Volunteers Serving America’s Communities, Saving Lives, and Shaping Futures.” This encompasses the organization’s three major programs: emergency services, aerospace education, and cadet programs.

© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.
×