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The Coast Guard will graduate your 1,000th rescue swimmer in Elizabeth City, North Carolina

U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer ascends into a helicopter after saving a downed pilot during CSAR Exercise Razor Talon.
Archive image: a U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer ascends into a helicopter after saving a downed pilot during CSAR Exercise Razor Talon, Oct. 11, 2019, in Northeastern N.C. Razor Talon is a 4th Fighter Wing training initiative that provides a low-cost, large-force exercise training opportunity for joint East Coast tactical and support aviation units.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Derry.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — The graduation ceremony to Aviation Survival Technician (AST), Class 134-20, is scheduled to graduate the 1,000th Coast Guard rescue swimmer tomorrow Dec. 20, 2019, at 9 a.m., aboard ATTC (Aviation Technical Training Center) at Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

The Coast Guard opened the new Rescue Swimmer Training Facility the Oct. 17, 2012 in Elizabeth City, N.C.
The Coast Guard opened the new Rescue Swimmer Training Facility the Oct. 17, 2012 in Elizabeth City, N.C. The new building encompasses approximately 50,000-square-feet including a 164-by-82-foot training pool measuring 12-feet deep holding more than one million gallons of water.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

Today’s AST rating, formerly known as the Aviation Survivalman Specialist rating, was officially created when the first class of five Coast Guardsmen graduated the program in 1985. It is one of the Coast Guard’s most physically demanding courses of instruction.

Airman William Carvallo, an aviation survival technician in training, conducts a free fall deployment into a pool during training at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, N.C.
Archive image: Airman William Carvallo, an aviation survival technician in training, conducts a free fall deployment into a pool during training at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, N.C., July 31, 2013. The training simulated a capsized boat with three people in the water to test the rescuer’s ability to triage the victims and get them to safety.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill.

Retired Lt. Cmdr. Steve Ober, the first Coast Guardsman to graduate rescue swimmer training, will be in attendance to meet the 1,000th graduate.

ASTs are highly-conditioned rescue and survival experts, as well as highly capable aviation life support equipment technicians, and are trained to operate in a variety of maritime environments. While serving as rescue swimmers, ASTs are deployed into a myriad of challenging scenarios ranging from hurricanes and cliff rescues to emergency medical evacuations from ships at sea.

Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter hoists a rescue swimmer from the deck of a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-medium near Brooklyn, New York, May 14, 2019. The aircrew from Air Station Atlantic City regularly trains with members from Station New York to ensure Coast Guard men and women are ready to respond when called upon.
Archive image: a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter hoists a rescue swimmer from the deck of a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-medium near Brooklyn, New York, May 14, 2019. The aircrew from Air Station Atlantic City regularly trains with members from Station New York to ensure Coast Guard men and women are ready to respond when called upon.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Strohmaier.
Coast Guard opens the new Rescue Swimmer Training Facility Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Elizabeth City, N.C.
Archive image: the Coast Guard opens the new Rescue Swimmer Training Facility Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Elizabeth City, N.C. The new building encompasses approximately 50,000-square-feet including a 164-by-82-foot training pool measuring 12-feet deep holding more than one million gallons of water.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

-USCG-

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