MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Members of the Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, will continue to perform emergency and disaster response missions authorized by Air Force officials during the federal government shutdown, officials announced Oct. 1. CAP members annually participate in 90 percent of America’s inland search and rescue missions and during the past year conducted more than 50 disaster relief operations, including damage assessment flights during recent Colorado flooding, the Oklahoma tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy. In addition, CAP saved 32 lives in 2012, while conducting 700 search and rescue missions, nine of which were attributed to the expertise of CAP’s cell phone forensics and radar experts. “The Air Force depends on Civil Air Patrol to perform these critical missions,” said CAP Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, the CAP national commander. “During emergencies, CAP provides (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and state and local governments with digital photos of the damage and where help is urgently needed in real time, ensuring a rapid response.
“Our search and rescue services also rely on high-tech tools and technology to produce exceptional, life-saving results,” he said. CAP is a nonprofit organization with nearly 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. Its members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 26,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 72 years.