Who We Are
In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country. As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Thousands of volunteer members answered America’s call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.
After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies. On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.
CAP’s aerospace education efforts focus on two different audiences: volunteer CAP members and the general public. The programs ensure that all CAP members (seniors and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. To advance within the organization, members are required to participate in the educational program. Aerospace educators at CAP’s National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., provide current materials that reflect the highest standards of educational excellence.
While there are many youth oriented programs in America today, CAP’s cadet program is unique in that it uses aviation as a cornerstone. Thousands of young people from 12 years through age 21 are introduced to aviation through CAP’s cadet program. The program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, as well as many others.
Growing from its World War II experience, the Civil Air Patrol has continued to save lives and alleviate human suffering through a myriad of emergency-services and operational missions. 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.
Today, CAP handles 90 percent of inland search and rescue missions, with approximately 75 lives saved each year. Our members are generally the first on the scene transmitting satellite digital images of the damage within seconds around the world and providing disaster relief and emergency services following natural and manmade disasters, including such phenomena as Hurricane Katrina, Texas wildfires and tornadoes, as well as humanitarian missions along the U.S. and Mexican border.
Unlike our founding CAP fathers, many of whom flew their own airplanes and performed life-threatening missions without any formal training, our more than 3,500 members are now provided with top-notch, year-round professional development training opportunities and with aircraft equipped with the most advanced technologies available for search and rescue.
Mailing & Physical Address:
Wing Administrative Office:
WMIRS Assistance E-Mail: admin_WMIRS@txwgcap.org (note underscore)
Population: 26,956,958 (2014 est.)
Texas Wing Demographics:
Membership statistics as of July 06, 2020