Air Academy Cadet Squadron
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado
Not for self, but for all.
Emergency Services

Emergency Services (ES) is one of the three CAP missions. Interested senior members and cadets participate in training (online, classroom and field exercises) to prepare to respond to missions. These missions include search and rescue efforts and disaster relief. AACS participates in the ES mission by providing regular training opportunities and transportation for CAP members participating in missions. Both senior members and cadets are encouraged to participate.

Before you can participate in training or assist in a mission, you must:

  • Earn your Curry Award (if you are a cadet) or complete Level I (if you are a senior member).
  • Complete the requirements for your 101 Card (see detailed information below).
  • Contact the Unit Commander to request a Peterson AFB access pass (the mission base is located there, so you will need access).

The Ground and Urban Direction Finding Team Tasks document, developed as part of the National Emergency Services Curriculum Project, can be found here.

101 Card


A CAP Form 101, commonly referred to as a 101 Card, is your ticket into emergency services. This card shows mission staff at a glance what you are qualified to do when you sign in for a mission, and it is required before you can begin any hands-on training in emergency services. To get a 101 Card, you will need the following:

  • Current CAP membership card (CAPID)
  • Minimum grade:
    • Cadets: Airman (Curry Award)
    • Seniors: SM with Level I
  • Successful completion of the following CAP tests:
    • CAPT 116 Part 1
    • CAPT 117 Parts 1-3
  • Successful completion of the FEMA IS-100 examination

Detailed Instructions

All tests are untimed, open book. It is suggested you open the associated resources in separate windows and keep them open for reference during the tests.

CAPT 116: General Emergency Services

CAPT 116 Part 1 covers general emergency services operational mission procedures. It is based largely on the following resources:

CAPT 117: Emergency Services Continuing Education

CAPT 117 Parts 1-3 are requirements for various qualifications as outlined below. It is recommended you take all three parts.

  • Part 1 is required for all ground crew, including ground team members, ground team leaders, urban direction finding team members and critical incident stress team qualified.
  • Part 2 is required for all aircrew, including mission pilots, transport mission pilots, mission scanners, mission observers, flight line marshallers and flight line supervisors.
  • Part 3 is required for all mission base staff, including mission radio operators, mission staff assistants, branch directors, section chiefs and incident commanders.

FEMA IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System

The FEMA IS-100 online course/exam is an introduction to the Incident Command System under which CAP and other local, state and federal emergency service agencies operate. Much of information covered on the FEMA IS-100 exam may be found in CAP Regulation 60-3, Chapter 8; however, the FEMA website contains an excellent self-paced study course and a 23-question online exam.

Once you have completed this training, enter the information into eServices as follows:

  1. Sign in to CAP eServices.
  2. Select My Operations Qualifications from the left hand menu.
  3. Select the SQTR Entry/View Worksheet tab.
  4. Select IS100 - IS-100 from the Achievement drop down menu.
  5. Fill in the completion date and certificate number, check the Check to Save box and submit.

You will be emailed a completion certificate, which needs to be uploaded into your eServices account so that the wing emergency services officer can verify completion in eServices. Following the same steps you used to log your IS-100 course information, click on the View/Upload Documents link, and follow the directions to upload a copy of your completion certificate.

Printing Your 101 Card

After you have completed the tests, you are eligible to begin training for further qualifications. Before you can participate in any training exercises; however, you will need to print your 101 Card:

  1. Sign in to CAP eServices.
  2. Select My Operations Qualifications from the left hand menu.
  3. Select the 101 Card tab.
  4. If your personal information is incomplete, follow the links on the page to update the necessary areas before proceeding to Step 5.
  5. Print the card and carry it with your CAP ID card.

Verifying You Have a 101 Card

To confirm you have met all requirements for your 101 Card:

  1. Sign in to CAP eServices.
  2. Select Member Search from the left hand menu.
  3. Enter your CAPID.
  4. Select the Achievements tab.
  5. Your record should list GES-General Emergency Services.
Operations and Assets

Emergency Services Operations

Search and Rescue: Perhaps best known for its search and rescue efforts, CAP conducts more than 85 percent of all flight hours for inland SAR missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Langley AFB, Virginia. More than 100 lives are saved annually by CAP members.

Disaster Relief: CAP provides air and ground surveillance, transportation, damage assessment and an extensive communications network. CAP supports local, state and national disaster relief organizations with trained manpower and leadership. CAP has Memorandums of Understanding with many humanitarian relief agencies, including the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Coast Guard.

Humanitarian Services: Closely related to disaster relief is CAP's support of humanitarian missions. Usually in support of the Red Cross, CAP air crews transport time-sensitive medical materials, including blood and human tissue, in situations where other means of transportation are not possible.

Air Force Support: It's hardly surprising that CAP performs several missions in direct support of the U.S. Air Force. Specifically, CAP conducts damage assessment, radiological monitoring, light transport, communications support and low-level route surveys.

CAP Assets

Equipment: CAP maintains a wide variety of equipment and trained operators. Each state and local units may differ slightly, but all units must comply with federal regulations and National CAP standards.

Aviation Assets: The CAP Corporation owns 535 light aircraft, primarily Cessna 172s and 182s. Additionally, CAP members own another 4,700 aircraft that can be used to support assigned missions. When all these assets are combined, CAP operates the world's largest fleet of civil aircraft and flies nearly 130,000 hours each year. Not to be overlooked are CAP pilots. One-third of all CAP members are FAA certified pilots. Mission pilots undergo specialized training and must pass a mission-specific checkride. The counterdrug mission is supported by airborne video and thermal imaging equipment.

Ground Assets: In addition to aircraft, the CAP Corporation owns 950 ground vehicles to conduct support for its missions. Many of these vehicles are equipped with sophisticated communications equipment that becomes invaluable during disasters or extended SAR missions. Members are equipped with appropriate field gear to operate autonomously for days at a time. CAP forces are deployable to virtually any general aviation airport. Cadet members are frequently used for ground search teams and mission base support. All CAP members, including cadets, must be qualified for the specialty in which they perform on actual missions.

Communication: CAP operates one of the largest communications systems in the country with more than 6,000 fixed land stations and more than 10,000 land and airmobile radios operated by more than 20,000 trained communicators. The CAP National Digital Radio Network (NDRN) has drawn particular interest from other organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has joined the network and included it in their emergency communications planning. The system doesn't rely on telephone lines and is highly survivable in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Because of its radio-based architecture, it is also extremely flexible and allows end users to plug into the system from anywhere within radio range of one of the 500-plus system nodes across the country.