Civil Air Patrol - U.S. Air Force
Published February 11, 2015
Civil Air Patrol – United States Air Force, or CAP-USAF, is headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. CAP-USAF provides day-to-day support, advice and liaison to the Civil Air Patrol and provides oversight for CAP programs, with particular emphasis on safety and programmatic requirements. CAP-USAF personnel are the primary functional interface between CAP and other federal agencies.
CAP-USAF serves as the Air Force program office for the cooperative agreement between CAP and the Air Force. The CAP-USAF commander, as the program manager, is responsible for the oversight and validation of CAP’s performance under the cooperative agreement. CAP-USAF advocates for CAP at all levels of the Air Force as well as providing advice and support to CAP field operations, to include homeland defense, homeland security, disaster response and search and rescue. CAP-USAF falls under the First Air Force and Air Combat Command.
CAP-USAF headquarters is comprised of approximately 23 active duty military and civil service members. CAP-USAF operates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico via detachments, which are co-located with each of CAP’s eight geographic regions. CAP-USAF’s total active component is approximately 60 military and government civilian members assigned to 22 locations across the United States. The CAP-USAF team also includes approximately 140 Category B and E Air Force Reserve members.
The Civil Air Patrol is a federally chartered non-profit corporation that is also the Air Force auxiliary. CAP’s mission is supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development and promotion of air, space and cyber power through aerospace education. CAP flies a wide range of operational missions daily, including search and rescue, disaster response and supporting counterdrug operations. They also execute aerial target missions to maintain combat readiness of air defense assets, conduct special-use airspace surveys and fly orientation flights for teachers, Air Force ROTC and Air Force JROTC cadets.
Recognized by Air Force doctrine as members of total force, CAP has more than 38,000 adult members and more than 28,000 cadets in more than 1,500 units with an organizational pattern and rank structure similar to that of the Air Force. CAP has eight geographical regions composed of 52 wings, one for each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Wings are divided into groups, squadrons and flights. The CAP national headquarters is co-located with the CAP-USAF headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.