Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.
The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for over 70 years, CAP will receive the Congressional Gold Medal in 2015 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans.
CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.
CAP Core Values
Civil Air Patrol’s core values are Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, and Respect.
Three Types of Squadrons
Senior squadrons only have an adult program for senior members 18 years of age and older. Cadets are not accepted into senior squadrons.
Cadet squadrons only have a youth program for cadets. There are senior members in this program, but their purpose is to manage the youth program. Adults can join if their primary interest is working with the cadets.
Composite squadrons have both a senior and a cadet program. Some squadrons are special school units. These units have a charter number that starts with an 8, like CA 801, and generally only students who attend the school can participate in that squadron.
Albuquerque’s Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Spirit Squadron is the 3rd type, a composite squadron.