Maine CAP Operations


Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conducts a variety of operational missions primarily in the areas of Emergency Services (Search And Rescue (SAR), Disaster Relief (DR), Counterdrug (CD), and Homeland Security (HLS). Most of this is done in CAP's role as the United States Air Force Auxiliary as Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) under Title 10, but CAP also provides assistance to State and Local authorities under the terms of a Memorandum Of Understanding separately or prior to a defined Federal interest under Title 36. In order to effectively conduct these missions members train in specific qualifications to provide operational support in accordance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Emergency Services (ES) and Homeland Security (HLS)

Maine Wing Emergency Services includes assisting Maine State Police in the search for missing or overdue aircraft as well as the prosecuting of emergency distress beacons as reported by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC).  On certain occasions CAP is requested to assist the USCG to locate and silence e-Pirbs on land which have been inadvertently activated. Maine Wing CAP conducts monthly training in the qualifications of Incident Command Staff, Ground Team, and Air Crew Search And Rescue (SAR) qualifications.

Counter Drug (CD)

Maine Wing CAP performs CD missions in accordance with public law, implementing DoD and Air Force policies, directives  and instructions. This is done through national agreements with federal law enforcement agencies in collaboration with state law enforcement officials. The sensitivity of counterdrug operations requires that CAP provide appropriate supervison, control and oversight at every level.  Participants in the CAP CD program must meet the requirements as set forth by CAP National Headquarters including minimum of two years membership and background check.

Standardization and Evaluation (Stan/Eval)

CAP flight management is achieved through a safe, effective, efficient, and standardized guidance to those who fly in the Civil Air Patrol. All pilots must complete a CAP Form 5 Checkride annually to demonstrate ability and proficiency in accordance with specific criteria  developed to emulate the requirements of an FAA bi-enniel flight review.  Flight in CAP includes operational risk management techniques as well as defined regulations and limitations all either equal to or more restrictive than FAA regulations. 

Information Technology (IT)

Information Technology implements the CAP IT senior specialty track requirements by integrating IT into CAP activities at or above the squadron level. With increasing reliance on digitizing documents, networking computers, and image processing Information Technology is critical to effective mission management. An important aspect of IT is that of Operational Security (OPSEC) which is an awareness of protecting sensitive information related to ongoing operations being maintained on computers, cameras and other devices. Lastly, IT includes the development and maintenance of unit and wing websites to support its members.  

Aircraft Maintenance 

The goals of the Aircraft Maintenance function are to provide a well maintained fleet for safe flight while attending to regulatory maintenance schedules in accordance with FAA regulations.  Aircraft Maintenance is carefully administered through the centralized maintenance program which calls for major repairs, routine inspections, and other maintenance issues be performed by a primary service facility approved and authorized by CAP National Headquarters. Aircraft discrepancies and time dependent service such as oil changes and 100 hour inspections are tracked on-line and can be referenced by any qualified CAP pilot intending to schedule a particular aircraft for flight.

Homeland Security

The Civil Air Patrol is a resource for state and federal agencies to support homeland security missions and activities. These missions are necessarily approved and conducted with U.S. Air Force oversight with careful consideration for operational security.

Communication Capabilities   

The Civil Air Patrol has highly trained communications personnel to aid in the various missions CAP may be asked to undertake. These services include, but are not limited to, Homeland Security, Counter Drug Missions, Fire watch patrols, Search and Rescue operations, and Disaster Relief efforts. All CAP radios are programmed specifically so that CAP may coordinate between Aircraft, CAP Ground Teams, and Local, State or Federal Authorities. By using a combination of direct frequencies and repeaters, CAP is able to communicate effectively over great distances.