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Emergency Services

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conducts a variety of operational missions in the areas of emergency services, including search-and-rescue (SAR), disaster relief (DR), counterdrug (CD), homeland security (HLS), official transportation, communications support and low-altitude route surveys. Most of these tasks are performed by CAP in its role as the United States Air Force Auxiliary.

CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Its aircrews transport time-sensitive medical materials when other means of transportation (such as ambulances) are not practical or possible.

Additionally, CAP assists the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration, and United States Forest Service in the War on Drugs. In 2005, CAP flew over 12,000 hours in support of this mission and led these agencies to the confiscation of illegal substances valued at over $400 million.

Following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, all general aviation was grounded. During that period, one of the first planes permitted to fly over the destroyed World Trade Center was a CAP aircraft taking photographs to contribute to damage assessments and historical records.

To address the ongoing training of its members for emergency services missions, Long Island Group CAP maintains its own school - the Ground Search and RescueAcademy. The school trains Long Island Group CAP members in various subjects of ground operations. Additionally, other wings of Northeast Region have periodically sent their members to attend.

Please click on each patch below to find out more:

Aircraft Operations




Drug Demand






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