One of the major activities of CAP is responding to life threatening emergencies and natural disasters. CAP’s response is quick and effective. Emergency services training (which includes searching for overdue or missing aircraft, searching for people possibly lost in the wilderness and transporting emergency medical or disaster relief supplies) is an important past of what we do. Each year CAP proudly accounts to the Air Force and Congress what it did during the previous year. Each year CAP and its members are credited with saving nearly 100 lives which would have otherwise been lost.
CAP has the largest fleet of single engine aircraft in the world (more than 550, flying more than 98,500 hours annually), more than 1,000 emergency vehicles and a communications network of 26,000 mobile and fixed base VHF and HF network radios to effectively carry out its missions. There are currently 24,000 cadet members (ages 12-20) enrolled in CAP as well as another 35,000 adult members, serving as an all volunteer force. CAP is the forth element of the Air Forces Total Force makeup.
Training for cadets and adults (senior members) takes place at the local squadron, at facilities across the state or at various locations nationwide. All training is carried out by advanced trainers from CAP, the military or other specialized organizations such as FEMA, NASA or the FAA. Members learn how to accurately read maps, avoid hazards, survival techniques, prepare an emergency landing zone for rescue helicopters, set-up and use of communications and other emergency equipment to ensure their own safety and those being searched for. Cadets and Seniors take specialized rescue training at Camp Atterbury in indiana, Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania or several locations.
CAP aircrews provide air intercept training, impact assessment, light air transport, communications support and low-level route surveys and photographic services for the Air Force and assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the War on Drugs.