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Supporting America's communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.
Civil Air Patrol has been at the forefront of community service for six decades - in times of war and peace - its members giving far more than they could hope to receive in return. CAP’s members do this for love of country, respect for their fellow man, and their need to contribute to their communities.
CAP performs no warfighting function, it is the benevolent auxiliary of the United States Air Force, performing essential non-combatant missions for the Air Force in time of need; as embodied in our mission statement. This relationship with the uniformed services, and the Air Force in particular, is at the heart of CAP’s existence, as it has been almost since its inception.
CAP was founded on 1 December 1941, just six days before Pearl Harbor. The mood of the country was one of uncertainty. The world at that time was in a frantic and uncontrollable state of change. The European, Asian, and African continents were consumed by conflict: new conflicts using weapons borne of advanced technologies - including the airplane. These weapons could deliver unimagined levels of destruction - not only to the battlefield, but also to civilian populations
hundreds of miles away from the battlefield. It changed the face and consciousness of warfare.
And, for over 70 years, this is what Civil Air Patrol has done. Its three-fold mission of Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and the Cadet Program is CAP’s defining triad, dedicated to serving the American people through education, welfare and personal development services. As technological and societal needs change the nature of what CAP is asked to do, it adapts to meet those needs.