Civil Air Patrol is America’s premier public service organization for carrying out emergency response and disaster relief missions nationwide. As the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP’s vigilant volunteers are there to find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and support local, state, tribal, and federal agencies with CAP’s distinctive air and ground operational capabilities.
South Dakota Wing’s members are among the tens of thousands of CAP members nationally who devote their time, energy, and expertise to the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s youth “cadet” program. CAP is “Volunteers serving America's communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.”
“Supporting America's communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.”
Always prepared, both in the air and on the ground, members of South Dakota Wing perform operational missions for local, state, tribal, and federal agencies.
Because CAP’s aircraft has a low cost-per-hour to operate, South Dakota Wing can provide such services that are both effective and economical.
Best known over the years for searching for missing aircraft, South Dakota Wing’s operational missions today also include things like missing person searches, damage assessment aerial photography, vaccine transport, low-level route surveys for Ellsworth AFB, serving as aerial intercept targets for the SD Air National Guard F-16s, and radar coverage studies for NORAD.
Six single-engine aircraft, 19 ground vehicles, and scores of trained personnel can be deployed on short notice for emergency response and agency support.
Civil Air Patrol’s aerospace education program promotes aerospace, aviation, and STEM-related careers with engaging, standards-based, hands-on curriculum and activities.
South Dakota Wing’s award-winning aerospace education team fosters aerospace education within the CAP membership, and also supports educators and conducts public outreach programs.
Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program transforms youth into dynamic leaders through a curriculum that focuses on leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character development. As South Dakota Wing cadets participate in these four elements, they advance through a series of achievements, earning increased responsibility and gaining confidence along the way. Many of the nation’s astronauts, pilots, engineers and scientists first explored their careers through CAP.
A lynchpin of the cadet program is the annual Joint Dakota CAP Encampment. This week-long residential cadet training event is typically held at Camp Rapid in South Dakota or Camp Grafton in North Dakota.