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Civil Air Patrol has three missions: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs and Operations (Emergency Services).
Civil Air Patrol's aerospace education programs provide its members and the educational community information about aviation and space activities.
The purpose of the Cadet Program is to inspire the country's youth to become leaders and good citizens through their interest in aerospace. It is open to U.S. citizens and legal residents of the United States, its territories and possessions. New cadets must join between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age, and have satisfactorily completed the fifth grade.
CAP has long been associated with search and rescue missions. CAP flies 95 percent of all federal inland SAR missions. Its work also includes disaster relief, counterdrug and homeland security missions.
CAP is a volunteer organization. It is a private, nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation and by Congressional charter is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Air Force liaison staff are assigned to CAP regions to advise and support. CAP and members own and operate more than 5,000 light aircraft, the world's largest civilian fleet, and volunteers fly about 130,000 hours each year on CAP missions.
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