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Located in Kempton, Pennsylvania, along the rugged Appalachian Trail, Hawk Mountain Ranger School is the longest running Search & Rescue School in the nation.  For over 65 years, HMRS has provided some of the best wilderness SAR training to cadets and seniors throughout the country.  HMRS is the most intense and rewarding summer activity that CAP has to offer.  If you have never been to the mountain, now is your chance to become a part of the tradition.  If you have already graduated from a HMRS course, attend again to further your training through more advanced courses. 

The training that you will receive at HMRS is different from that of any other school in CAP.  While at most schools the majority of training takes place in classrooms, here you will learn 100% of your skills through hands on training in the field exercising your abilities in the same conditions as a real mission. In the final phase of the school you will participate in a multi-day field training exercise testing all of your acquired skills along with your endurance.

Our goal is to build leaders for Civil Air Patrol Emergency Services that are experts in wilderness search and rescue and disaster response, operating in challenging, protracted, and austere search environments, and leading the way in advancing CAP ground search and rescue capabilities.

Rangers Lead the Way!

Lt Col Brian J. Cuce, CAP


Our Mission

Similar to the mission of the US Army Ranger School, Hawk Mountain trains field experts to build, teach, and lead CAP ground operations.  CAP Rangers are expected to return to their home units with the skills necessary to build their unit’s ES programs, teach fellow team members, and lead those teams in the field in the most challenging, protracted, and austere search environments.

Our History

In response to the need for ground support for air search missions, the concept of the Ranger Team was born under the leadership of Col Phillip Neuweiler, PAWG Commander from the late 1940's to 1970. In 1953 USAF Pararescue and survival instructors trained PAWG SAR teams at Westover AFB, Massachusetts. Due to the dedication, motivation, and high quality of the students, the instructors called them Rangers.

The Ranger Creed

It is my duty, as a member of the Rangers of the Civil Air Patrol ground search and rescue service, to save lives, aid the injured, and protect personal property.

In order to do this, I will keep myself physically fit at all times.

I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing those duties before my personal desires and comfort.

These things I do that others may live.

About Civil Air Patrol

In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country.  As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Thousands of volunteer members answered America's call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented. 

After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies.  On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization.  On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force.  Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.

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