>Rotary Wing Aircraft Intercept Training: Another Important CG Auxiliary Support Function

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One of the many support roles that the CG Auxiliary serves to the Coast Guard and the nation is support of the Rotary Wing Air Intercept (RWAI) mission. On September 25, 2006, the Coast Guard (CG) officially assumed responsibility of protecting the National Capital Region airspace for the Department of Homeland Security in support of NORAD’s multi-layered air defense mission. Today, CG H65C Dolphin helicopters, pilots and aircrew deploy from CG Air Station Atlantic City to Washington DC. The aircraft work alongside Department of Defense and Homeland Security assets to provide safety and security to the region while protecting general aviation aircraft that inadvertently fly into protected airspace.
This mission requires thousands of hours of training and experience to meet mission goals safely and effectively. The CG Auxiliary Air (AUXAIR) Program has stepped up to help meet the challenge. Each week, AUXAIR provides aircraft, pilots and aircrew to train alongside the CG to assist pilots in maintaining their training and proficiency. In multiple live training scenarios, Aux Aircraft act as potential threats or “bogeys” and are intercepted in midair by CG helicopters. The CG aircraft will often fly within 200-300 feet of the Aux Aircraft to signal the pilot, warn of their actions and provide “escort” out of the area. This training requires precision flying, careful planning and reliable pilots and aircraft (CG and Aux) to ensure success.
The cost of this training per day can quickly surpass triple digits due the need for two aircraft. AUXAIR resources significantly reduce these costs by saving over $780,000 annually. Once again, the volunteer efforts and dedication of the Coast Guard Auxiliary has “proven its weight in gold.”
In addition to RWAI, AUXAIR supports other aviation missions on a daily basis including weekly Maritime Observation Missions for multi-mission maritime domain awareness, Search and Rescue missions and logistics flights throughout the Fifth District to name a few. Pictured are two Auxiliarist Pilots and CG Airstation Atlantic City Aviation Liaison.