Civilian Air Patrol celebrates 80th anniversary



Members of the Civil Air Patrol across the United States and in squadrons overseas today celebrate the organization’s commitment to community service – a commitment that began on December 1, 1941 and s’ is continued for 80 years.

More than 56,000 members, youth and adults, volunteer their time and talent to provide essential emergency services, advance aerospace and STEM education, and deliver character-building youth programs, improve physical and mental fitness and train the leaders of tomorrow.

“The members of the Civil Air Patrol draw their strength from our 80-year history,” said Major-General Edward D. Phelka, National Commander and Chief Executive Officer of the CAP. “On this milestone anniversary, today’s volunteers are very proud to continue the important work of our predecessors. Just as we did in CAP’s early years, volunteers continue to perform missions vital to America, including homeland security, educating young people, advancing science and technology, and even more. Our proud past is a launching pad to allow us to project ourselves into the future. “

Civil Air Patrol was founded in December 1941, a week before the United States entered World War II. Since then, its mission has evolved over the past eight decades to meet the ever-changing needs of American communities with cutting-edge lifesaving technology and world-class programs in youth development and education.

As the operator of the largest fleet of single-engine aircraft in the world, CAP also serves as an official auxiliary to the United States Air Force to perform assigned emergency services tasks, including the conduct of emergency missions. search and rescue; support local, state and federal agencies after a natural disaster; to provide relief in the event of a pandemic; participate in joint training exercises; and more.

In 2015, Civil Air Patrol became a Total Force Air Force partner in a non-combat role, complementing the combined efforts of the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard to preserve life and alleviate suffering.

“Congratulations and happy birthday, Civil Air Patrol. I am happy to be here with you and to work with you as a partner every day, ”said Brig. General William D. Betts, vice-commander of First Air Force and Air Forces Northern Command, praised the organization’s ability to always adapt to keep its members ready for the mission.

“Some of the technologies used in emergency service missions today weren’t there decades ago – GPS, prospective infrared, 3D scanning capabilities, digital photography, cellular forensics and more , have changed the way CAP works and the results are impressive, saving more money. lives, preserving property and relieving human suffering in ways that could not have been imagined decades ago. This is what makes CAP an invaluable partner of Total Force. Investing in dollars and lives saved is a hallmark of CAP.

Civil Air Patrol’s education programs for youth run from Kindergarten to Grade 12 with an aviation and aerospace science curriculum, interactive STEM kits, and career exploration. Volunteer University, the organization’s center of excellence for adult learning, provides adult members with online, on-site, and on-demand opportunities to hone existing skills and learn new ones to help create a highly skilled and efficient volunteer workforce.

Programs for CAP cadets ages 12-18 focus on developing well-rounded, community-minded servant leaders by integrating education, improving physical fitness, increasing self-confidence and more. Civil Air Patrol is also helping alleviate the looming pilot shortage nationwide with innovative programs such as Cadet Wings, which offer scholarships to train cadets 17 and older to become private pilots – an opportunity that can change the trajectory of a young life.

Today’s civilian air patrol is different from what it was 80 years ago, but fundamentally the organization remains the same – serving in a meaningful way that meets the needs of the nation in a way that no other organization can match.

“You should all be proud of the work you do as selfless volunteers to serve American communities, save lives and shape the future,” Betts said. “You should be equally proud and grateful for the work of those who have come before you in bringing us here and preparing Civil Air Patrol for the next 80 years.”

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About civilian air patrol

Now celebrating its 80th anniversary, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the US Air Force and, as such, a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and over 2,100 small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) and conducts approximately 90% of all search and rescue operations in the contiguous United States, as requested by Air Force Rescue. Coordination center. Often using innovative forensics and radar analysis software, CAP has been credited by AFRCC with saving over 100 lives last year. CAP’s 56,000 members also carry out homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a non-profit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) educational resources based on national academic standards. Members also serve as mentors to over 23,000 youth participating in CAP cadet programs.



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