Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an organization of volunteers who contribute their time and aircraft to assist the U.S. Air Force. The CAP is a civilian auxiliary of the Air Force, and the national commander of its 52 wings is a senior Air Force officer. Members of the CAP serve without pay and are not exempt from military service. They carry on a variety of activities such as giving preflight training to teenage CAP cadets, searching for missing aircraft, and patrolling flooded areas. The Civil Air Patrol was founded in 1941 through the efforts of Gill Robb Wilson and other aviation enthusiasts. Headquarters are at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.