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Coast Guard Aviation Association

Coast Guard bringing on reserve pilots

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard is establishing a team of reserve pilots to help meet growing operational needs, retain expertise, and allow members to continue to pursue their chosen career path after separation.

Applications to become one of the first 12 reserve aviation officers have been received. These positions can be located at all Coast Guard aviation units and Naval Flight Training commands and can be filled as early as this summer.

It’s also not too early to start thinking about next year when an additional 12 positions are expected to be added, says Lt. Cmdr. Christopher McAndrew who manages the new program.

“It’s an ongoing effort,” said McAndrew, noting that the pilots will join reserve enlisted aviation maintenance crews already at these facilities. Last year, the Coast Guard made 70 billets available to enlisted members (E-4 to E-6) to start building the reserve aviation workforce.

Retaining pilots has long been a challenge for all military service branches. While the problem lessened during COVID, renewed demand for air travel has airlines once again on a hiring spree. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines already have reserve pilot programs.

Now, McAndrew hopes some departing members of the Coast Guard will take the opportunity to continue to serve. “We’re saying, you can fly for the airlines, or take another job,” he said, “but come and fly for us as well.”

What will reserve pilots do?

Reserve pilots can take on one of three roles:

Coast Guard Reserve Aviator – responsible for safe and effective operations of Coast Guard aircraft and aircrew flying search and rescue (SAR), law enforcement (LE), ports waterways, and coastal security (PWCS), and maritime environmental response (MEP), and authorized missions and standing 24-hour alert duty.

Aviation Training Center Mobile Reserve Standardization Instruction Pilot – conducts classroom, simulator and in-flight instruction of Coast Guard student pilots and fleet pilots. Also develops, designs, and implements tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for the fleet.

Detached Duty External (DDE) Aviation Instructor Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) Advanced or Primary Flight Training Instructor Pilot – Conducts classroom and in-flight instruction of Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and international student naval aviators. Also serve as pilot-in-command of Navy training aircraft.

Note: Transition courses will NOT be offered for Coast Guard or Navy aircraft. Requalification courses may be offered to support the needs of the Coast Guard.

All reserve aviators will be required to maintain their flight designations and qualifications. This translates into roughly 60-72 drilling days a year to meet flight maneuver minimums and complete proficiency requirements.

In addition to flight duty, reserve pilots may be required to perform other aviation operations and training duties, as well as participate in command-sponsored aviation safety events.

Who Qualifies?

The Coast Guard is looking for pilots who are current in their training and flight hours. The preference is for aviators who separated from active duty, or had an approved separation on file, no earlier than Oct. 1, 2021.

Waivers will also be considered for the right applicant, McAndrew says. If you meet the other requirements listed below, you’re encouraged to apply.

  • A current or previous designation as a Coast Guard aircraft commander
  • A minimum of 750 hours as pilot-in-command (PIC) of a military aircraft
  • A minimum of 1,500 total hours in a military aircraft
  • Successful completion of a Coast Guard or Department of Defense (DoD) flight physical prior to flight duties

C-school eligibility

In addition, all reserve aviators seeking Naval Air Training Commands should have previous experience as a Naval Air Training Command (NATRACOM) instructor and have flown in an instructional sortie within the past year.

Selection will be based on available assignments, airframe designation, total flight time, and the candidate’s performance as an aviator.

April 2021

The CG has three aviation ratings: Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT), Avionics Electrical Technician (AET), and Aviation Survival Technician (AST). The AMT and AET Schools are 26-weeks long and a typical class has 20 students. The AST School is 24-weeks long and a typical class consists of 20 students. In recognition of active-duty aircrews, the Executive Board approved special recognition for ALL ATTC school graduates with a dues-free initial year of membership in the association, effective 1 July 2014. Here listed are late-2020 & early-2021 graduates whom we salute with pride. We welcome all to the exciting and rewarding world of CG aviation and extend our heartiest wishes for many satisfying years of performance in your vital roles in Coast Guard Aviation. We sincerely hope you will continue as members of our Pterodactyl Aviation Community. Congratulations and Welcome Aboard!!!

AET3 Randy M Aguirre MobileAET3 Blake A. Beard Miami
AET3 Roman L. Bratic HITRONAET3 Eva M. Davison Sacramento
AET3 Ricardo L. Fuentes MobileAET3 Adam L. Gold Elizabeth City
AET3 Forrest T. Schue SacramentoAET3 Jake A. Suthard Elizabeth City
AET3 Jacob P. Flannery HITRONAMT3 Kayle W. Bosley Miami
AMT3 James T. Carabin MobileAMT3 SHAE C. Erickson San Francisco
AMT3 Christian D. Mirenda Atlantic CityAMT3 Hunter G. Morris San Diego
AMT3 Darien T. Neely Barbers PointAMT3 Christopher J. Pavlik Miami
AMT3 Herbert A. Pitts Cape CodJorden E. Sanchez San Francisco
AMT3 Reece A. Williams ClearwaterAMT3 Reece A. Williams Clearwater
AMT3 Patrick R. Brown Traverse CityAET3 Tresen K. Arakaki Clearwater
AET3 Andrew J. Bear KodiakAET3 Ricardo A. Fajardo Ramos Miami
AET3 Juan Figueroa Hernandez Barbers PointAET3 Ty D. Lindeman Savannah
AET3 Taylor G. Martin MiamiAET3 Joshua C. Prater Kodiak
AET3 Aaron Ruiz ClearwaterAET3 Maxx R. Sepulveda Barbers Point
AET3 Christopher M. Wenck Atlantic CityAET3 Joshua J. Colon Vega Mobile
AMT3 Diego A. Beltran Bernal Atlantic CityAMT3 Vincent P. Boyer Cape Cod
AMT3 Tristan H. Browne KodiakAMT3 Jacob X. Colleton Atlantic City
AMT3 James S. Gold HITRONAMT3 Steven W. Gordon Detroit
AMT3 Andrew J. Hall North BendAMT3 Hunter S. Harris HITRON
AMT3 Brenden G. Mahoney New OrleansAMT3 Tasha A. Munson Elizabeth City
AMT3 Michael C. Scott DetroitAMT3 Michael J. Steele Mobile
AMT3 Pohai McWhirter KodiakAST3 Peter M. Cowen Kodiak
AST3 Joan M. Gonzalez MiamiAET3 Jacob D. Gray Miami
AET3 Alexander R. Grussing SacramentoAET3 Jacob A. Hancock Mobile
AET3 Kevin P. McManus Traverse CityAET3 Francis P. Makepeace San Francisco
AET3 Tanner N. Redman MobileAET3 Joshua C. Richards Elizabeth City
AET3 Connor A. Rudolph MiamiAET3 AET3 Kevin H. Ryan Mobile
AET3 Marc A. Todd Sacramento