Civil Air Patrol has become one of the nation's premier volunteer forces that continues to define and influence the American way of life.
Deerfield Beach, FL October 1, 2004 -¨C New Line Media Solutions is pleased to announce the selection of the Civil Air Patrol for its highly acclaimed television series, Pulse on America. It will be part of "Building a Sound Future" in the Models of Excellence series.
With more than 60 years of service, and some 62,000 citizen volunteers throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, Civil Air Patrol has become one of the nation's premier volunteer forces that continues to define and influence the American way of life. Their mission is to serve America by performing homeland security and humanitarian missions for our communities, states, and nation; developing our country's youth; and educating our citizens on the importance of air and space power.
Civil Air Patrol was conceived in the late 1930s by legendary New Jersey aviation advocate Gill Robb Wilson. With the help of New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Civil Air Patrol was established on December 1, 1941, just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. In all, CAP flew a half-million hours during the war, and 64 CAP aviators lost their lives in the line of duty. The U.S. Air Force was created as an independent armed service in 1947, and CAP was designated as its official auxiliary the following year.
Last year, 140 lives were saved nationwide due to the work of CAP volunteers, and 95 percent of the nation's inland search and rescue was performed by CAP, logging over 113,000 flight hours. This year , CAP is performing many of its reconnaissance missions using cameras that allow members to transmit aerial digital photos anywhere in the world, using a satellite phone system. This new technology greatly aids in search and rescue, disaster relief, counterdrug, and homeland security missions.
CAP, with national headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, has come to people's aid after such disasters as hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and flooding. They also performed many reconnaissance missions after the attacks of September 11th. To better prepare themselves for future homeland security missions, CAP volunteers participated in several high-profile, national-level operations and exercises during 2003. They flew reconnaissance, assisted with ground activities, and even served as "targets" for training designed to spot and redirect suspicious aircraft. With new developments like satellite imagery and Internet-based reporting, CAP is emerging as the resource of choice to support our nation's strategy for homeland security.
Aerospace education and cadet programs are also major components of the CAP. CAP offers over 100 aerospace education workshops a year, and holds the nation's premier annual aerospace education conference. The cadet program provides young people with the training and knowledge vital to their growth. CAP currently has more than 27,000 cadets, ranging in ages from 12-18. To help cadets further their education, CAP provides some $300,000 in scholarship and educational opportunities each year. Many cadets go on to the Air Force Academy, with CAP cadets making up 10 percent of the freshman class each year.
Today, more than ever, Civil Air Patrol is in step with America's needs and priorities. It's this kind of grassroots volunteerism that makes our nation stronger and more resilient. For more information, see www.CAP.GOV.