Search and Rescue

Perhaps best known for its search-and-rescue efforts, CAP flies more than 85 percent of all federal inland search-and-rescue missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fl. Outside the continental United States, CAP supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Just how effective are the CAP missions? Nearly 100 people are saved each year by CAP members.

Disaster Relief

Another important service CAP performs is disaster-relief operations. CAP provides air and ground transportation and an extensive communications network. Volunteer members fly disaster-relief officials to remote locations and provide manpower and leadership to local, state and national disaster-relief organizations. CAP has formal agreements with many government and humanitarian relief agencies including the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Humanitarian Services

CAP flies humanitarian missions, usually in support of the Red Cross-transporting time-sensitive medical materials including blood and human tissue, in situations where other means of transportation are not available.

Air Force Support

It’s hardly surprising that CAP performs several missions in direct support of the U.S. Air Force. Specifically, CAP conducts light transport, communications support, and low-altitude route surveys. CAP also provides orientation flights for AFROTC cadets. Joint U.S. Air Force and CAP search-and-rescue exercises provide realistic training for missions.


CAP joined the “war on drugs” in 1986 when, pursuant to congressional authorization, CAP signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Customs Service offering CAP resources to help stem the flow of drugs into and within the United States.


Capt Douglas ElyOperations Officer
Capt Mike SullivanAircraft Manager
1st Lt Kenneth RichterEmergency Services Officer
2d Lt Billy OwensSearch and Rescue Officer

CAPabilities Brochure

View the latest Operational Mission brochure from Civil Air Patrol’s National Operations Center.

How can we perform?

Types Of Missions

  • Airborne Reconnaissance
  • Aerial Transportation
  • Communications Support
  • Augment Incident Command Staff
  • Damage Assessment and Disaster Recovery

Our Resources

  • 550 Light Civil Aircraft
  • Over 900 Vans, 4×4, Pickup Trucks
  • Dedicated Communications Vehicles
  • Over 9,600 Base, Mobile, Portable Two-Way Radios
  • Naitonal & Regional HF Radio Networks
  • Over 500 VHF-FM Repeater Stations Throughout The Country
  • 1,600 Airborne, Mobile, Handheld DF Units
  • Over 7,300 Qualified Aircrew Members
  • Over 4,700 Mission Qualified Ground Team Members