FAQs

Are you interested in joining our squadron, but still wondering just what we're all about or what exactly we do? Here is a list of questions we are frequently asked by prospective members who are new to the experience. Hopefully they will answer a few things for you!

What is the purpose of the Civil Air Patrol?
The Civil Air Patrol has a three-part mission: to provide emergency services for people in need; to foster cadet development; and to promote aerospace education.

How can I find out more about CAP?
The best way to find out more is simply to come meet us! We have weekly meetings on Thursday, and all are welcome to attend. You may also email our recruiting officer here.

How do I join?
Attend three of our meetings to get a good overall view of our program, during which you will meet with the recruiting staff on the details of submitting an application.

Are there age limitations?
Young people from 12 through 18 years of age join as cadet members. People 18 and older can join as senior members. There is no upper age limit.

If my child joins, how can I support the squadron?
You can either join as a senior member or as a cadet sponsor member. As the former, you will have all the privileges and responsibilities of all adult members. As a cadet sponsor member, your value to the squadron will be as a chaperone and driver for cadet activities.

How much is CAP like the military?
The Civil Air Patrol is an official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. As such, we have adopted from them our customs and courtesies. This includes things like uniforms and ranks. The major difference between the USAF and CAP is the mission. Air Force members are involved in national defense, whereas CAP members serve the community by responding to people in need.

Can I be a pilot in the Civil Air Patrol?
Cadets 16 to 20 may be selected to attend our flight academy. Those that graduate will have earned an FAA Solo Flight Certificate. Senior members who already possess a private pilot certificate may train to become CAP pilots. Those joining as senior members who do not already hold a private pilot certificate are not eligible for flight training in CAP. Such members must earn the private certificate from a civilian flight service before continuing training with CAP.

How much does it cost to join CAP?
The base cost of membership is annual dues, which currently stand at $67 for senior members and $40 for cadets.

Since we are a volunteer organization, members bear the cost of uniform supplies and some activities.

For flight training, there is a cost, but it is not nearly as expensive as commercial flight training. The Asheville Composite Squadron is assigned two aircraft: a Cessna-172, and a Cessna-182. The former is used for flight training. The trainee pays for aircraft hours flown ($40/hr. on October 1, 2013) and aviation fuel (approx. $6.50/gallon), Our highly qualified instructors are free!

If I'm not interested in being a pilot, what else is there for me?
There are many things that members can contribute. We need flight crew members to take photographs and map out search patterns. On the ground we have the need for people who can train for emergency coordinators, search and rescue ground teams, communications, logistics, supply, transportation, public information, and a myriad of other key positions. Your civilian training will make you a valuable asset in a variety of CAP specialty tracks.

How much time is required?
We meet each Thursday night. Emergency services training occurs once a month, usually on the third weekend. Cadets have summer and winter encampments.

Other training varies according to your function in the squadron. A fair amount of training takes place online, so having access to a computer is very important. Cadets advance through their ranks according to the completion of a number of achievements tests, many of which are completed online.

The time spent by members is the amount of satisfaction they will get. We are an all volunteer organization. You will get out what you put in.

Where do we get our uniforms?
We can help cadets from our own uniform supply. There are also many websites where one can purchase uniform supplies.