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Emergency Services

Emergency Services is one of Civil Air Patrol's congressionally-mandated missions.  While CAP is the primary national level agency for conducting missing aircraft searches, our ES missions also include missing person searches, locating aircraft distress beacons and personal locator beacons that have been accidentally activated, providing communications assistance to the Virginia Department of Emergency Services and Aerial Photography Missions.

As CAP continues to develop our capabilities and adapt new technologies, our Disaster Relief mission becomes even more important and active, including supporting FEMA Point of Distribution relief efforts, conducting pre and post-hurricane photo survey missions, supporting disaster relief communications, and supplementing local, state, and federal emergency managers in response coordination centers.

Though many training missions are held at the state or regional level, most of the training takes place at the squadron level. Squadrons are tasked with providing "entry-level" ES training to their members. This includes training towards:

Primary Mission Aircrew Functions:

  • Mission Scanner

  • Mission Observer

  • Mission Pilot

  • Aerial Photographer

Primary Ground Team Functions:

  • Urban Direction Finding (ELT Search) Team Member

  • Ground Team Member

Primary Mission Staff Support Functions:

  • Mission Staff Assistant

  • Mission Radio Operator

All members wishing to get involved in ES must first complete Level 1 training as well as the General Emergency Services (GES) coursework/test and a basic radio communications class (ICUT). 

After that, members may pursue a number of ratings or qualifications for a particular skill used in our Emergency Services missions based on their own personal preferences and capabilities. 

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