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Stupid questions about USCG Aviation

sardaddy

Registered User
pilot
Polar OPS: Contracted to civilian aircraft now.


How does a unit get tasked to support cutters?: Stations don't get attached to specific cutters. They just get assigned a certain amount of deployment days a year and that depends on the amount of aicraft at the unit. For instance, a 3 aircraft station will be assigned one deployment a year. Which cutter they deploy to is luck of the draw. But West Coast units generally don't deploy to the East Coast and vice versa. Great Lakes units (Detroit and Traverse City) do a few more deployments mostly in the winter months because the lakes are frozen over.

HITRON isn't a bad mission, it is actually quite fun. But the deployments can wear on you. Since that is their only mission, they always have aircraft deployed. Plus the unit doesn't do Search and Rescue. They only do counter drug so if you came in for SAR it can be frustrating. With that, if it is your first duty station as a pilot, when you go to your next station, you will be a qualified aircraft commander who has never done SAR so you can be held up in progressing compared to other second tour aviators.

Hope that helped.



Is it a routine thing, like CGAS 'A' supports cutters from Sector 'X', or CGAS 'B' routinely deploys with specific cutters, or does District just grab whoever's up in a rotation?

How about going out on the big icebreakers? Is that a special-training mission that only certain units are tasked to do, or is it just considered another underway that any Dolphin guy can do and pack your long-johns?
 

Brunes

New Member
pilot
Survival Program- Pull out Gov't travel card and find the nearest decent hotel. Await parts shipment from homeplate.


Nope- No SERE.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
In my experience 2K is on the high side of average (I know it depends on airframe and timing) and 3K is very high.
I was gonna say that I had no clue the CG flew so much. Sounds like the numbers are about the same for Navy v CG.
 

Brunes

New Member
pilot
There are limited opportunities for overseas liaison tours. One of the guys I met while I was on the boat did a tour as a liaison to Haiti. I'm not sure of foreign flying tours...


PS- I was being funny with my last answer. There are a few folks who have gone thru SERE either because of deployment requirements or for that extra summer camp gone wrong experience.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
There are limited opportunities for overseas liaison tours. One of the guys I met while I was on the boat did a tour as a liaison to Haiti.
FWIW, both of the Coast Guardsmen I met who were on tours in Haiti were CDRs. I don't think either one was an aviator, but anyway... In the case of Haiti, the Haitian navy/coast guard is part of the country's national police (rather than armed forces), they operate small boats (actually, very small boats and very few of them), and their mission ostensibly includes anti-smuggling and drug interdiction. In other words, the institution has very little in common with the USN but at least some things in common with the USCG. That makes those particular billets better fits for coasties than squids. A lot of Haitians receive training in CONUS too.
 

sardaddy

Registered User
pilot
I do know of one cg pilot that was the liaison in Haiti but not because he was a pilot. That is a special billet and any officer with the proper rank can apply. There are only 3 pilot exchange tours left in the CG. One fixed wing in Canada somewhere, a helicopter tour with the royal navy in England, and one in Comox canada with the canadian navy.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Here's another one - what's a "Coast Guard Air Facility"? I was reading something about the CG wanting to close a couple of them around Lake Michigan, and some Congressperson not liking that. I gathered by inference that they're basically seasonal air stations? Or is it like NAF's (air stations without any permanently assigned a/c, just support for forward-deployed planes)?
 

Brunes

New Member
pilot
They use the AirFacs during busy times to expand available air coverage. Muskegon gets attention during the summer months. Charleston has one during busy parts of the recreation season. New Orleans doesn't have an AirFac but they deploy a SARDET regularly to Destin over holiday weekends.
It's a few maintainers and enuf folks to field duty crews- as I understand it. Usually within striking distance of home plate on one bag of gas in case a crew mission limit gets reached...

(Take this all with a grain of salt- I've never seen one-Just heard stories)
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
(Take this all with a grain of salt- I've never seen one-Just heard stories)
One in GITMO as well... basically a building with flight planning facilities as well as support equipment (computers, Vans, cell phones, Big Screen TV with Xbox) for the dets (and visiting VP crews) to use while they are there sitting Alert.
 

HercDriver

Idiots w/boats = job security
pilot
Super Moderator
I do know of one cg pilot that was the liaison in Haiti but not because he was a pilot. That is a special billet and any officer with the proper rank can apply. There are only 3 pilot exchange tours left in the CG. One fixed wing in Canada somewhere, a helicopter tour with the royal navy in England, and one in Comox canada with the canadian navy.
The Canadian exchange is flying C-130s with the 413th Rescue Squadron in Greenwood. I didn't realize there was a rotary tour in Canada; I've served with a pilot who was on the exchange with the RAF in Cornwall, and talked with one who did the Scotland RAF tour...sounds like the Scotland tour is gone from your post.
 

sardaddy

Registered User
pilot
Yep, the RAF tour finished in the 2006/2007 time period but the Royal Navy spot is still out there. Apparently the RAF didn't want to pay to send their pilot to the US anymore so it went away. I actually applied for the Royal Navy tour in 2006 but it was taken off the table because the Coastie in the Royal Navy spot extended another year and if he left, the coastie in the RAF position was going to move into that position. I believe in the end, the RAF coastie was able to finish his tour but he was the last as far as I know.
 

HercDriver

Idiots w/boats = job security
pilot
Super Moderator
Yep, the RAF tour finished in the 2006/2007 time period but the Royal Navy spot is still out there. Apparently the RAF didn't want to pay to send their pilot to the US anymore so it went away. I actually applied for the Royal Navy tour in 2006 but it was taken off the table because the Coastie in the Royal Navy spot extended another year and if he left, the coastie in the RAF position was going to move into that position. I believe in the end, the RAF coastie was able to finish his tour but he was the last as far as I know.
That sucks, big time. There used to be a fixed wing C-130 billet w/ the Air Force at the RAF Mildenhall base, but the last pilot there put in his after-action report that there was very little benefit to the tour (at least that was the rumor) and it went away. Everyone hated that guy for it.
 
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