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About Civil Air Patrol

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded on 1 December 1941, just six days before Pearl Harbor.  During WWII, CAP would defend America’s shores and borders, train soldiers and airmen, rescue hundreds of men and women, and help to mold a new generation of Americans during those years.  Its ultimate reward for service was the opportunity to make the same kind of difference in peacetime – as the auxiliary of the nation’s newest armed service: The United States Air Force. 

For over 70 years, this is what Civil Air Patrol has done.  Its three-fold mission of Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and the Cadet Programs is CAP’s defining triad, dedicated to serving the American people through education, welfare and personal development services.  

Civil Air Patrol’s resources are almost unparalleled by any other civilian search and rescue organization in the world today, boasting America’s largest privately owned fleet of single engine aircraft and the world’s largest privately-owned short-wave radio network.  These, along with countless privately owned ground vehicles and nearly 60,000 members of all ages, provide a blanket of coverage spanning all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  There are also CAP units attached to US military installations overseas, providing CAP’s cadet program to military family members around the world. Located in Wilmington, NC, the Cape Fear Composite Squadron proudly carries on these traditions serving South Eastern North Carolina.

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