Ground Search and Rescue Academy

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please read these too!

must be met to attend

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meet the team

deadline: 10 JULY 21
use code "STUDENT" to apply


How to get your 101 card (click):
How to get your 101 card

Emergency Contact Number for Staff: 
(206) 401-0935

2021 Washington Wing 
Ground Search and Rescue Academy


25 July 2021 to 1 August 2021

Check-in and equipment inspection will be 25 July 2021 at 0900 hrs, sharp. 
Check-out will be Sunday 1 Aug 2021 at 1230 hours. 

Staff and Cadre arrive 24 July

Initial Registration Deadline
: 30 June, 8 pm
(You must register by this date to be included in potential helicopter flights and/or other similar opportunities)

Final Registration Deadline10 July, 8 pm

NoteThis activity is subject to a 3 July go-no decision based on COVID-19 restrictions

No registration fees will be collected prior to that date. 

We will begin processing payments for accepted applicants after 3 July, assuming we are approved to continue.


I am happy to say the GSAR Academy is a GO for 25 July to 1 August 2021. The Academy staff has been working diligently since the beginning of the year to prepare for the 2021 activity year. COVID restrictions delayed the opportunity to announce this year’s Academy. There are additional precautions: individual tents, distancing, parent/guardian contact procedures, alternate persons to pick up minors, etc.  

The time is short between this announcement and the deadline. We understand that. Help us help you.  Ask questions early, gather the necessary documentation, seek assistance when you need it, get your name on the registration even before you have the prerequisites so we know you are interested. We want you to succeed, but it’s on you to get things done.

We offer the Basic and Advanced Courses this year. See the descriptions and prerequisites below.  

Please pay close attention to the directions on this page and feel free to ask questions. Feel free to email me!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Bryan Watson, Major, CAP
Director, WAWG GSAR Academy

To attend as a Basic student and train for the Ground Team Member 3 rating all you need is: 
  • A current CAP membership card 
  •  A CAPF 101 with GES 
  • The required equipment for the Academy 
  •  A desire to learn, practice, and have fun!

    Check the Requirements page for more detailed information.

This training activity is for cadets and senior officers 
and will be conducted on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) property near Tacoma, Washington. It will be an opportunity to experience a realistic Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) training environment that combines teamwork and individual skills to become proficient in the ground team mission. The academy is conducted almost exclusively in the field environment and proper preparation cannot be overemphasized.

CAP personnel will conduct ground team member training for the purpose of acquiring and maintaining skills in accordance with CAP SQTRs on the topics of ground search and rescue, urban direction finding & WAC 118-04 Core Requirements.

There are three courses offered. Each includes meals and instruction (see below):        

  1. Basic - $ 180
  2. Advanced - $ 180
          (use code "STUDENT" to access Student application)

Basic Course:

  • Goals:  

1.  Instruction on all Ground Team Member (GTM) 3 tasks and Urban Direction Finding (UDF) tasks IAW SQTRS & WAC 118-04 Core Requirement courses
(Helicopter Safety & Crime Scene Awareness)
✔ Sign offs for successfully passed evaluations
2.  Leadership & Extensive team building exercises

  • Prerequisites:   

Min. 14 years of age
Current CAPF 101 - with GES rating Current CAP membership card on your person All items on Required Equipment List.
☐ All adults must complete the Cadet Protection Basic Course before the Academy. Approval of Wing CC for those outside WA WAWG - See forms
Advanced Course:
  • Goals:   

  1. Students will further enhance skills in rescue techniques, land search theory, air to ground coordination, advanced navigation skills including latitude and longitude, casualty evacuation, advanced survival skills, and SAR team training. 

  2. Students will also learn the leadership skills necessary to build ground teams in their home units.   

  3. Students will practice their newly honed skills during several search simulations and spend four days away from base camp on a field training exercise. 

  4. The field training will include extensive hiking with full 72-hour gear. Students will train through the GTM1 level.

  • Prerequisites:   

  1. Same as listed in the basic course above + 

  2. In addition to the Basic Course prerequisites

Current qualification of GTM3 & ability to demonstrate knowledge


CAPF 60-81, Application for CAP Encampment or Special Activity (cadets only)
CAPF 17, Application for Senior Member Activities (senior members only)
CAPF 160 (I), Health History Form
CAPF 161 (I), Emergency Information
CAPF 163 (cadets only)

You may apply on a tentative basis if you do not have all your Prerequisites by the deadline, however, applicants with all of their Prerequisites will be accepted immediately. Read the FAQs.

Due to the remoteness of the site and base security policies, there will be no late arrivals/early departures for students.

Check-in and equipment inspection will be 25 July 2021 at 0900 hrs, sharp. 
Check-out will be Sunday 1 Aug 2021 at 1230 hours. 

Your acceptance information will include the location for the start of the encampment. 

Cadet attendance is limited to 35, so apply early! 

Early is on time. On time is late!

Bryan Watson, Major, CAP
Ground Search and Rescue Academy Director