Staff Sections

Main Content

Missions of National Significance or High Importance

Media Relations Guidelines for Civil Air Patrol

Air Force Assigned and Corporate Missions
Air Force Assigned Missions (AFAMs)
News Releases
? The Air Force must approve information releases for any form of information generated during the conduct of an AFAM (“A” and “B” missions) (video, still imagery, data, etc.) to any media outlet (print, TV, radio, internet, etc.)
? Approval for typical AFAMs (SAR, DR, intercept, etc.) comes from AFRCC, 1st, 11th, 13th AF or CAP-USAF.  Wings will make requests to the NOC to obtain approvals from 1st, 11th, 13th AF or CAP-USAF.
? For SAR missions only, CAP ICs and PIOs will work directly with AFRCC to obtain approval to release information.  If considered a high profile mission (potential to generate considerable media attention at the wing, region or national level like the Steve Fossett or John F. Kennedy Jr. missions),  work through the NOC and NHQ/PA for approvals.
Media flights 
? All flights carrying media personnel will be coordinated through the NOC – no exceptions.  For AFAMs the NOC will coordinate Air Force approval following the non-CAP passenger approval process.   
? Early notification of media ride-along requests to the NOC and NHQ/PA is critical -- the sooner the better.  Early requests increase the probability of ride-along approval.  Don’t wait until you know the specific names of media to ride along.  The names can be provided later.  
Corporate Missions
News Releases
? Corporate (“C”) mission news releases are approved at the wing level by the commander or the commander’s designees, but assistance is always available from the NOC and NHQ/PA.
? PAOs will work with the NOC and NHQ/PA for approval of local releases for high profile events or activities on corporate missions.
Media flights 
? All flights carrying media personnel will be coordinated through the NOC – no exceptions.  The NOC will coordinate NHQ/DO approval on corporate missions.   
Tips for All Missions
? Wings should include federal, state and local customers in the news release coordination process.
? If you have any questions, call and ask for help.  The NOC duty officer is available 24/7/365 at 888-211-1812, ext. 300.  NHQ/PA is available during duty hours at 877-227-9142, ext. 250 or 251 and after hours via email at  
Imagery vs. Publicity Photos
? Disaster imagery (damage photos) taken for customers is generally considered their property, unless the customer approves CAP to use the imagery.  The wing will work with customers to include getting their written approval for CAP to use images captured during the mission in the customer’s initial mission request. 
? CAP cannot store/retain most imagery (except photos used for publicity purposes) due to legal issues.  

? Members cannot keep pictures for themselves. Members using their own camera to take images will need prior approval from the NOC and must plan to turn over all imagery to the customer.

Publicity Photos

? Non-CAP members must give approval to CAP using their photo for publicity purposes.  Email approval is acceptable.

? If the background of the photo is sensitive, it will require approval by the NOC and/or NHQ/PA (and possibly the AF) prior to release.  For example, photos inside another agency’s facilities or with another agency’s personnel in the background will require coordination with that agency.  Ideally the member who desires to use this photo for publicity purposes should get written approval locally beforehand to expedite this process.
? Photo approvals should be obtained at the same time news releases are approved.
? A good photo may not be usable if we can't get approval to use it because nobody documented who was in it.
Hurricane Coverage
? Hurricanes are automatically considered high profile missions. Although local news releases generated from C missions are approved by the wing commander, PAOs will coordinate with the NOC and NHQ/PA, for all news releases and photos related to hurricanes.
? Most hurricane missions will be AFAMs, meaning that any related news release and photos will require Air Force approval.  Send requests to the NOC and NHQ/PA.  The NOC and NHQ/PA will coordinate with 1st Air Force for approval.  NHQ/PA coordinates the release of photos and information with other NHQ offices if necessary and edits the releases prior to going to 1st Air Force.
? Contact the NOC or NHQ/PA for approval to post imagery and information on social media sites.
? See Guidelines for Partnering with NHQ/PA for High Profile Missions on the PA page at for more information.
NOTE: Appropriate lead time is essential for securing approvals.  Don’t expect a same day turnaround when submitting AF approval requests after 1 pm Central Time.  

Sub Content

My Account
Member Login
Register for an account