The Civil Air Patrol communications system includes thousands of HF and VHF radios with trained operators across the United States.
The system operates in support of all of CAP’s missions. The focus of the CAP system is tactical communications, including air to ground, ground team to ground team, and communication with mission base.
Interoperability with other agencies is stressed. In most cases, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is signed with each agency before operation on each other’s frequencies.
The Civil Air Patrol operates primarily on frequencies assigned by the United States Air Force. As a result, all CAP radios must comply with NTIA standards for transmitting and receiving. This requirement also applies to all radios used by other agencies that are permitted by MOU to operate on CAP frequencies.
Advance planning is a priority of the communications program. Communication managers at all levels develop mission communication plans and manage resources to ensure sufficient assets are available to accomplish the missions of CAP. Because “emergency communication is our business” CAP communicators are obligated to have standard procedures developed and trained for communication under demanding conditions.
Within the Missouri Wing, CAP Communications operates approximately 34 HF stations and 125 VHF radios, a large number of which are capable of communicating directly into the State of Missouri MOSWIN radio network. Additionally, CAP currently operates 10 VHF repeaters are strategic locations throughout the state, with one additional coming on soon at Taum Sauk Mountain (the highest point in MO).