The Civil Air Patrol is a Congressional chartered public benefit corporation which, when tasked by the U.S. Air Force, acts in the capacity of the USAF Auxiliary.
CAP is available to assist state and local authorities perform various Reconnaissance, Emergency Services, Disaster Relief and Homeland Security missions.
When tasked by the Air Force, CAP, in its Air Force Auxiliary role, can support federal authorities to include assistance to state and local authorities requested by a lead federal agency (LFA).
Air Search and Rescue
• In FY2010 CAP was credited by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center for saving 113 lives on 1016 Search and Rescue missions.
• CAP also provides air and ground SAR assistance to local and state agencies\ for missing persons.
• CAP aircraft are equipped with Direction Finding equipment to detect and locate Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB), and Personal Locator Beacons (PLB).
Aerial Photos and Imagery
• CAP can do aerial imagery with the ability to send high resolution digital photos usually within two hours of mission launch. The IC has the ability to contact aircraft to re-task of request specific photo locations and orientations.
Other Things We DO:
• Fire Support to the State
• Animal Tracking for State (lions, turkeys, elk, etc)
• Flooding Support to FEMA and State
• Orientation Flights for cadets, Jr ROTC cadets, and ROTC cadets
How to Request Help from the Civil Air Patrol
Emergency Rescue/Disaster Response Support
- To use CAP to assist in an emergency response, requesting agency should contact the local county emergency manager (EM).
- The county EM will contact the state Office of Emergency Management (OEM) through normal channels.
- OEM will make appropriate contact with the USAF to obtain CAP assistance.
- OEM will contact the South Dakota CAP with mission information.
- SD CAP will then contact the requesting agency to obtain direct mission information.
It is helpful to also directly contact the local CAP contact to give notice of a pending mission and improve the response time of CAP professionals. You may call (605) 394-5206. If it is after business hours, call 430-0793 or 787-8230.
Funding for emergency response can come from the USAF, the state, the county, or the requesting agency, depending on the type of request. Contact OEM for further information.
Non-Emergency CAP Request
If an agency or organization wishes to use CAP for a non-emergency request (assistance with parades, county fairs, aerial photo work, or other volunteer activities), contact the Rapid City CAP squadron by clicking on the "Contact Us" tab at the top of the page. You may also phone or email the state CAP headquarters in Rapid City. The CAP headquarters can be reached at:
Phone: (605) 393-4215