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Join CAP

Who can Join CAP?

We welcome service-oriented people to join the airmen of the Kansas Wing in their support of the three important missions.

  • Emergency Services
  • Aerospace Education
  • Cadet Programs

The Kansas Wing is part of over 60,000 unpaid volunteers across the United States, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Germany, Korea and Japan.

All adult airmen have been screened by an FBI background check and personal squadron commander interview.

Note: The use of the noun airmen and airman is not reflective of a specific gender.  It is a term used by the U.S. Air Force to refer to a troop or serving members.  The U.S. Army refers to their serving members at soldiers. The U.S. Navy uses the term sailors.  Being the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP uses the term airmen.

How you can participate

Everyone is assigned a duty assignment to support the unit. There are over twenty skill tracks.  Below are some links to duty assignment descriptions.

Duty Assignments Quick Look

In addition to the unit support roles, seniors and cadets can participate with the emergency services missions.  The areas of emergency services include:

  • Air Crews
  • Radio Operators
  • Ground Teams
  • Mission Base Staff

Membership types

  • Senior – over 18 years of age
    • Senior
    • Cadet Sponsor
    • Aerospace Education Member
    • Patron
  • Cadet
    • 12 years of age and older
    • Less than 18 years of age

Civil Air Patrol Organization

Civil Air Patrol began on December 1, 1941 to provide reconnaissance of the United Sates eastern coastline.  The mission expanded to include west coast reconnaissance, southern border reconnaissance and Army Air Corps training.  In 1947, it became auxiliary for the United Stated Air Force.  Today it is included in the Homeland Defense effort.  The program is based on a military operational model.

The three missions of CAP are:

  • Emergency Services
  • Aerospace Education
  • Cadet Programs

They are described below.  CAP is non-combative and benevolent.  It is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a governing body that is accountable to the Air Force.

The Air Force provides equipment and training.  Equipment includes uniforms, aircraft, radios and ground vehicles.  Kansas Wing has 5 airplanes, 1 glider and 19 vehicles.

The country is divided into eight regions.  Regions are divided into wings – wings are assigned to states, e.g. Kansas Wing, Missouri Wing. Wings are divided into Squadrons.  Large Wings can be subdivided into groups.  The squadron is the lowest operational unit.

Uniforms

Uniforms are provided by the Air Force.  Some uniform items need to be purchased by CAP members.  To wear the Air Force uniform, the member must meet grooming standards, e.g. weight, hair length, etc.  There are non-military uniforms, too.  Grooming standards do not apply to non-military uniforms.

Weekly meetings

Most squadrons meet weekly.  Tuesday evenings is popular with many squadrons. Meetings typically begin at 7 and last for two hours. 

Missions

The three missions of Civil Air Patrol are well defined in official documentation.  Below are my summary descriptions.

Emergency Services

The Air Force is responsible to conduct missing aircraft, domestically.  Certain laws prevent the Air Force from this service.  CAP conducts 90%+ of moving aircraft searches.

Disaster relief is part of the ES mission.  Kanas Wing supports the Kansas National Guard, the Kansas Division of Emergency Manager, FEMA and community emergency management units.

Emergency service roles have been refined over the years. 

Air crew

  • Mission Pilot
  • Observer
  • Scanner

Ground Team

  • Ground Branch Director
  • Ground Team Leader
  • Driver
  • Navigator
  • Directional Finder operator
  • Mission Radio Operator
  • Incident Commander

ES Training

  • Search and Rescue Exercises
  • Emergency Services Academies
  • National activities
  • On-line programs

Pilot ratings

  • Mission Pilot
  • (Cadet) Orientation Flight Pilot
  • Glider Tow Pilot
  • Glider (cadet) Orientation Pilot

Aerospace Education

The aerospace education mission includes internal (to CAP) and external education programs.  The AE officer is an important role in the squadron.  They provide education activities to the cadets and senior members.

Cadet Programs

The program is led by a cadre of senior members and cadet officers.  The cadet commander (a youth) is replaced periodically.  The youngest cadets are 12 years old.  On a cadet’s eighteenth birthday, they can become a senior member.  Under certain circumstances, they can remain in the cadet program past their eighteenth birthday.  Cadets prospects are required to attend three meetings, before joining.

Advancement

Cadets complete three tests to advance to the next grade.

  • Aerospace education
  • Fitness
  • Leadership 

They are required to be in each grade for 60 days.  The grades parallel Air Force grades, e.g., cadet/Airman, cadet/Staff Sergeant, cadet/Major, etc.

Encampments

Encampments are similar to other youth camps; except they use a military operational model.  Typically, they are conducted on military facilities.  Most wings offer basic encampments to prepare new cadets for national activities. 

National Cadet Special Activities

The national activities are usually thematic, e.g., para-rescue, flight academies, weather, search and rescue, etc.  They are more disciplined than other youth organizations.  When the vans arrive at a museum parking lot, cadets exit orderly and fall into formation, for example.

Orientation Flights

The Air Force reimburses CAP for cadet O-flights.  Each cadet can complete five powered and five glider flights at no cost to the cadet or pilot.  There is a formal syllabus for each flight.

When possible, the airmen are offered flights aboard military aircraft.  Past flights have included: Blackhawks, C-130 and KC-135 refueling flights.

Dues (annual)                               Senior            Cadet

            National                                                   70                           40

            Squadron (varies by squadron)      24-60                     12-30

Squadrons typically collect annual dues to cover operating costs. They are determined by each squadron’s finance committee and can range from $1 per month to $5 per month.

For information about joining CAP use the following link and click on Join.

www.gocivilairpatrol.com

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