Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol begins new drone program

CAP UAV Pilot at Homeland Security Area Camp Atterbury

CAP Remote Pilot, Jassen Travis, brings Endurance UAS in for landing. Photo by Maj Darrell Tade

February 25, 2019

Civil Air Patrol begins new drone program

By Maj Darrell Tade and Capt House


Civil Air Patrol, like many other emergency response entities, has begun integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS’s) or “drones” into our services.  Currently, most Wings (states) have now been assigned UAS’s and a UAS training officer in an effort to begin this program. Many of these UAS pilots have completed a week-long training program at Camp Atterbury, IN, where they have learned advanced remote piloting skills, aerial mapping and flight programming for their birds. This is just one of the summer programs available to cadets and adult members in CAP.

One of CAP’s programs is Emergency Services, both cadet and adult members train for disaster relief, search and rescue, and humanitarian missions. They develop skills in radio communications, first aid, and train to help our community in a state of crisis.

What can UAS’s potential do in our missions? They can fly preprogrammed flight plans for grid searches, potentially deliver cargo of medical supplies, nourishment, water or other emergency needs. The Air Force is also developing “counter-drone” operations that may later involve CAP UAS teams acting as simulated invaders to test defenses of its bases.

Currently, CAP is awaiting qualification requirements for the training of its UAS teams. CAP will shortly begin recruiting of cadet and adult members interested in training for this new role. Cadets must be 16 years old to participate in the UAS mission program. Quadcopter STEM programs are available to all cadets (ages 12-18).

Those interested in unmanned flying can visit the Bowling Green, Paducah, Frankfort, and Elizabethtown squadrons at their Aerospace Day Open House on March 4 at 6:00 or 6:30pm. Frankfort squadron will have a RC Simulator, two Flight Simulators, and some quadcopters on March 5 at 6:00. Owensboro’s squadron will have some quadcopters on March 5 at 6:00.

The Aerospace Program provides many opportunities for adults and youth to experience everything from rocketry, quadcopters, astronomy to flying in CAP aircraft.

In addition to aerospace, Civil Air Patrol inspires youth to become the next generation of leaders in its Cadet Program. The program centers around its core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect for ages 12-18. They have the opportunity to develop a passion for flying, leadership, cybersecurity as well as many other careers that they are exposed to while serving their communities.

There are seventeen squadrons that are participating in a Statewide Aerospace Day Open House from March 4-13. Please visit for more information.

Civil Air Patrol offers teens and adults with experiences that build skills while serving their community.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 61,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 26,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information

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