Senior Programs

Program Information

Civil Air Patrol members practice searching for an emergency locator transmitter at the National Emergency Services Academy.


The member in front is using an L-Tronics Little L-Per, a type of radio direction finder. Civil Air Patrol covers several Emergency Services areas. The principal categories include search and rescue missions, disaster relief, humanitarian services, and Air Force support. Other services, such as homeland security and actions against drug-trafficking operations, are becoming increasingly important. Civil Air Patrol is well-known for its search activities in conjunction with search and rescue (SAR) operations. CAP is involved with approximately three quarters of inland SAR missions directed by the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Outside of the continental United States, CAP directly supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. CAP is credited with saving an average of 100 lives per year.


CAP is active in disaster relief operations, especially in areas such as Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana that are frequently struck by hurricanes. CAP aircrews and ground personnel provide transportation for cargo and officials, aerial imagery to aid emergency managers in assessing damage, and donations of personnel and equipment to local, state and federal disaster relief organizations during times of need. In 2004, several hurricanes hit the southeast coast of the United States, with Florida being the worst damaged; CAP was instrumental in providing help to affected areas. Civil Air Patrol conducts humanitarian service missions, usually in support of the Red Cross. CAP aircrews transport time-sensitive medical materials, including blood and human tissue, when other means of transportation (such as ambulances) are not practical or possible. Following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City when all general aviation was grounded, one of the first planes to fly over the destroyed World Trade Center was a CAP aircraft taking photographs. CAP performs several missions that are not combat-related in support of the United States Air Force, including damage assessment, transportation of officials, communications support and low-altitude route surveys. As a humanitarian service organization, CAP assists federal, state and local agencies in preparing for and responding to homeland security needs. In particular, the CAP fleet is used in training exercises to prepare USAF pilots to intercept enemy aircraft over the Continental United States. Civil Air Patrol aircraft are flown into restricted airspace, where Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15 Eagle pilots may practice high-speed intercepts.  


Aerospace Education

The Aerospace Education Program provides aviation related education and educational activities for members, including formal, graded courses about all aspects of aviation including flight physics, dynamics, history, and application. Courses covering the space program, and new technologies and advances in aviation and space exploration, are also available. There are several programs for CAP pilots to improve their flying skills and earn Federal Aviation Administration ratings. The Cadet Program has a mandatory aerospace education program; in order to progress, a cadet must take a number of courses and tests relating to aviation. Cadets also have educational opportunities through museum tours, National Cadet Special Activities, military and civilian orientation rides, and guest speakers. Senior members may study aerospace through the Senior Member Professional Development Program. CAP encourages its senior members to learn about aviation and its history, although this is not mandatory. Those who complete the Aerospace Education Program for Senior Members may earn the Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager Aerospace Education Award.

Through outreach programs, including the External Aerospace Education program, CAP helps schoolteachers integrate aviation and aerospace into the classroom by providing seminars, course materials and through sponsorship of the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education. Members also provide their communities with resources for better management of airports and other aviation-related facilities, and promote the benefits of such facilities. The organization also works with other groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of the USA and 4-H to fulfill the education goal set down in the organizations congressional charter - to "encourage and foster civil aviation in local communities


News & Events

At the recent Civil Air Patrol Florida Wing Conference, attended by 500 of 4200 members, held in Orlando, the Charlotte County Composite Squadron was the star of the Awards Banquet. Again, the Composite Squadron of the Year Award was given to Charlotte County FL -051. Their total body of work ranked highest out of 55 Composite Squadrons in the Wing. "Composite" means they have both cadet and senior members. Charlotte County has 69 cadet members and 95 senior - total 164

Awards night in Orlando will long be remembered by these recipients and the squadrons they represent. We are gratified that our hard work and volunteer dedication to our "Performing Missions for America" was recognized with these awards and commendations.

Major Jim Kaletta was the recipient of the Composite Squadron Commander of the Year Award based on his involvement in USAF missions, general flying, cadet training and overall participation. Incidentally, Major Kaletta also was named the Wing Member of the Year based on total qualifications, time devoted to the Squadron, Group and Wing and general management functions.

Squadron member, Captain Bob Little, received the Exceptional Service Award based on his weeks of participation in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response Mission with state and federal authorities. His work with all other USAF missions within the state added to his credentials.

Cadet Lt Col Serena Wedlake accepted the Meritorious Service Award for her continued involvement and presence at the squadron and her close work with the Group, Wing and Region at the national level.

Four cadets in Group 5, of which we are a member, received Lifesaving Certificates for saving the lives of 2 elderly senior citizens in separate incidents along the highway. These were Cadet Lt Col Casey Jago, Cadet TSgt Owen Jago, Cadet Airman lst Class Richard Crews and Cadet 2nd Lt Johnathan Fischer, all of Squadron FL - 044. Jonathan flies out of our squadron and is within a few days of receiving his Private Pilot Certificate. The training in first aid and CPR that the cadets received in CAP aided greatly in their ability to save these lives.