Group 3, Florida Wing, is one of several groups serving under the command Florida Wing Civil Air Patrol. Groups serve in large wings to represent the wing's objectives while ensuring that corporation objectives, policies, and operational directives are effectively executed within their group. As an operational tier to the Civil Air Patrol, squadrons report to the group to ensure the tactical elements of all three of Civil Air Patrol's Congressionally mandated missions, Aerospace Education, Emergency Services, and Cadet Programs, are meet.
Group 3 of the Florida Wing is a diverse group of cadet and adult Civil Air Patrol volunteers that serve our communities, the state of Florida and our nation. We are truly "Citizens Serving Communities" through a wide variety of methods, from conducting search and rescue for the US Air Force to assisting local Emergency Management Agencies all the way down to local volunteer efforts in Florida hometowns.
We are the civilian arm of the US Air Force-- the Air Force Auxiliary. We have an award-winning youth program that promotes self-initiative, discipline, leadership and personal growth and development. We perform over 95% of all aircraft search and rescue missions for the Air Force, and have saved thousands of lives by providing well-trained, qualified air crews. Chartered by Congress, we work closely with federal, state and local governments, providing a wide range of much-needed services, and all of this without fanfare or financial reward.
While many of our volunteers are pilots, most are not-- they serve in a variety of important roles, including air crew, ground crew, mission staff, communications, information technology, legal, medical, cadet programs, aerospace education-- to name just a few of the many and varied jobs performed by our members-- both adults and cadets.
Our award-winning, Congressionally-chartered aerospace education program works closely with schools, teachers, homeschoolers at a wide variety of ages.
We provide humanitarian aid during natural disasters, work closely with state and local emergency service agencies (law enforcement, fire, search and rescue) as well as the US Department of Homeland Security and local emergency management agencies.
In addition to being the Congressionally-chartered civilian arm of the US Air Force, we are also a 501c3 "not for profit" that does all of this using dedicated volunteers!
Following World War Two, the role of the Civil Air Patrol in servitude to its citizens needed redefining. On May 26, 1948 the 80th Congress passed Public Law 80-557 permanently establishing the Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the newly established U.S. Air Force.
CAP's aerospace education efforts focus on two different audiences: volunteer CAP members and the general public. The programs ensure that all CAP members (seniors and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. To advance within the organization, members are required to participate in the educational program. Aerospace educators at CAP's National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., provide current materials that reflect the highest standards of educational excellence. Aerospace education is divided into two parts: internal and external.
The internal aerospace education program has two parts as well: cadet and senior. Cadets complete aerospace education as one of the requirements to progress through the achievement levels of the cadet program. Senior members have a responsibility to become knowledgeable of aerospace issues and the AE program that CAP provides. They are further encouraged to share the information obtained with their local communities and school systems.
CAP's external aerospace programs are conducted through our nation's educational system. Each year, CAP sponsors many workshops in states across the nation, reaching hundreds of educators and thereby thousands of young people. These workshops highlight basic aerospace knowledge and focus on advances in aerospace technology. CAP's aerospace education members receive more than 20 free aerospace education classroom materials.
To learn more about CAP's aerospace education programs, products, and other resources available to our members, go to www.capmembers.com/ae. For information about joining as an aerospace education member (AEM) and to join online, go to www.capmembers.com/joinaem.
While there are many youth oriented programs in America today, CAP's cadet program is unique in that it uses aviation as a cornerstone. Thousands of young people from 12 years through age 21 are introduced to aviation through CAP's cadet program. The program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, as well as many others. Those cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic).
Whatever your interests-survival training, flight training, photography, astronomy-there's a place for you in CAP's cadet program. Each year, cadets have the opportunity to participate in special activities at the local, state, regional or national level. Many cadets will have the opportunity to solo fly an airplane for the first time through a flight encampment or academy. Others will enjoy traveling abroad through the International Air Cadet Exchange Program. Still others assist at major air shows throughout the nation.
Search and Rescue
Perhaps best known for its search-and-rescue efforts, CAP flies more than 85 percent of all federal inland search-and-rescue missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fl. Outside the continental United States, CAP supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Just how effective are the CAP missions? Nearly 100 people are saved each year by CAP members.
Another important service CAP performs is disaster-relief operations. CAP provides air and ground transportation and an extensive communications network. Volunteer members fly disaster-relief officials to remote locations and provide manpower and leadership to local, state and national disaster-relief organizations. CAP has formal agreements with many government and humanitarian relief agencies including the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.
CAP flies humanitarian missions, usually in support of the Red Cross-transporting time-sensitive medical materials including blood and human tissue, in situations where other means of transportation are not available.
Air Force Support
It's hardly surprising that CAP performs several missions in direct support of the U.S. Air Force. Specifically, CAP conducts light transport, communications support, and low-altitude route surveys. CAP also provides orientation flights for AFROTC cadets. Joint U.S. Air Force and CAP search-and-rescue exercises provide realistic training for missions.
CAP joined the "war on drugs" in 1986 when, pursuant to congressional authorization, CAP signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Customs Service offering CAP resources to help stem the flow of drugs into and within the United States.