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ES Training

This page explains how to get started training toward emergency services qualifications.

First, look at the pages on ES training opportunities, paths and requirements in the Seattle Composite Squadron CAP New Member Intro [PDF], which includes links to training information. Links to other ES training material is available on the National website here. Exhaustive listings of required training are on Where Do I Start on eServices.

Become familiar with Operations Qualifications in eServices. This is where you enter all training completed, including pre-requisites and requesting commander approval for starting training. You also print your 101 card from here. The 101 card is your "specialty qualification card" and shows all ES qualifications. You must have this during exercises or actual emergencies.

Overview of Roles


Search and rescue / disaster (SAR/DR) aircrew consist of three core positions: Mission Scanner (MS), Mission Observer (MO) and Mission Pilot (MP).

  • The primary role of the MS and MO is to "scan" - to visually search for a target in a methodical way.
  • The MO has additional responsibilities as mission commander, such as handling CAP radios and coordinating with the aircrew to make operational decisions.
  • The primary role of the MP is to provide a safe, stable platform for the MS and MO to do their jobs. The MP is the bus driver, not a scanner!

CAP pilots who are not SAR/DR Mission Pilots may train as Transport Mission Pilots (TMP) and support SAR/DR missions in roles other than direct search flying, such as transportation of people and equipment and relocation of aircraft. The MS qualification is required before training as MO or MP, but is not required for TMP.

Another common aircrew role is Airborne Photographer (AP). With the decrease in SAR missions and increase in DR capability, this is becoming a more important role. An AP is a MS with additional training to capture and log quality digital photographs, and occasionally video.

Ground Team


Mission Base



New members, be sure your Level I is complete.

Complete the following online courses:

  • IS-100, Introduction to Incident Command System
  • IS-700, National Incident Management System, An Introduction
  • CAPT 116, Part 1 - General ES (GES)

Review the Specialty Qualification Training Record (SQTR) on eServices for the role you are interested in.

Now you're eligible to pursue Aircrew, Ground Team and Mission Base qualifications!


Air Search in Washington State - WSDOT

Per state statute, actual air search for location of missing aircraft and electronic locator transmitters (ELTs) is managed by the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division (WSDOT). Most air search personnel, aircraft and trainers qualified by WSDOT are CAP members. Any aircrew wishing to perform actual air search must take training courses taught by WSDOT qualified instructors.

Because CAP members are most of WSDOT's volunteer personnel, you can receive both WSDOT and CAP qualification. Washington Wing (WAWG) holds annual training in conjunction with WSDOT and these classes, consisting of classroom and flight training, are highly recommended. As of 2014, aircrew training tends to be held in the early part of the calendar year. Non-WSDOT emergency worker card holders must take an introduction course, usually held near the end of the year.

There are still many opportunities for CAP aircrews beyond actual air search. CAP aircrews may perform any CAP mission other than actual air search, such as training/exercises, homeland security, counterdrug and cadet/teacher orientation flights.


All aircrew must:

  • Be familiar with CAPR 70-1 - CAP Flight Management
  • Be familiar with CAPR 60-3 - CAP Emergency Services Training and Operational Missions
  • Pass CAPT 117, Part 2 - Aircrew

Some aircrew must complete Introductory Communications User Training (ICUT).

Train to the standards in the appropriate SQTR and have that training signed off in Operations Qualifications in eServices

Training materials specific to MS, MO and MP roles are available from the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA). Task guides list information about each line item in the SQTRs. The slides are the National-approved training material, though use of this specific material is not required.

MS, MO and MP training may be taught by any qualified evaluator but participation in a larger organized training event is strongly recommended. This will expose you to the mission base environment and part of the pace at which operations run.


Every aircrew member should have:

  • Fire-resistant flight suit and boots with appropriate accoutrements (i.e., nametag, grade insignia, command patch, US flag as noted in CAPM 39-1)
  • Survival equipment (e.g., vest)
  • Gridded aviation charts
  • Headset
  • Appropriate chceklists and forms with writing utensil
  • Aviation ruler or plotter
  • Up-to-date 101 card and CAPID

While CAP National allows nearly any CAP uniform to be used when flying, SAR/DR missions and training should always be done with proper safety clothing. A Nomex flight suit is highly recommended and is the standard for every aircrew member in Washington Wing.

Ground Team


Mission Base


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