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Aviation Career Week 2018

by Stefanie Senkow
November 20, 2018

CG heloNEW LONDON, Conn. -- Showcasing Coast Guard careers that can really take off, the Academy just wrapped up its annual Aviation Career Week. With events including guest speakers, live aircraft displays, helicopter and small boat training on the Thames River and informational sessions on flight school, this year’s event soared to new heights.

“The Coast Guard often focuses on aviation in terms of search and rescue missions and this year we focused on the law enforcement side, with two pilots from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater coming to speak,” said First Class Cadet (1/c) Kaitlyn Dworak, project officer for Aviation Career Week.

“I appreciated learning more about the law enforcement side of aviation. Typically, only the search and rescue avenue is highlighted, so it was refreshing and informative getting to hear about a lesser known mission,” said 1/c Cadet Benson, who became inspired to pursue a career in aviation after returning from the Cadet Aviation Training Program during his second class summer. “Listening to the incredible experiences from the pilots combined with their passion for their jobs affirmed my desire to fly for the Coast Guard. It was great to hear about some of the missions that we may potentially fly in the future as aviators.”

With the Aviation Club being the third largest student organization at the Academy, there was no shortage of cadet participation in the week’s events. One featured demonstration was the small boat training on the Thames River which showed how the small boat station crew and air station pilots and crew work together to practice live hoists off of the boat.

“The helicopter slowly drops the basket and positions it in a way that the crew on the small boat can grab it, and then once they are good, they signal back to the helicopter to hoist the basket back up,” said 1/c Morgan Garrett, project officer for the week’s events. “It was really cool to be so close to the operations while standing on the top deck of Jacob's Rock. We were so close we could feel the rotor wash from the helicopter!”

“The crew performed several practice runs. I, as well as many of the other cadets at the demonstration, thought it was a great opportunity to witness first-hand a sample training of what the air crews perform on a day –to-day basis in order to keep them prepared for any mission that might come their way,” said 3/c Zachary Woods.

“It was an incredible experience to be as close as we were to the action, and to see the intense amount of training and precision each and every search and rescue case requires of our Coast Guardsmen,” said 4/c Ryan Barlow.

Based on the positive feedback from this year’s event and past events, it’s safe to say that the sky’s the limit for Coast Guard aviation careers and the Academy gives cadets a head start in exploring these opportunities.

“If aviation is your ultimate goal, it can be achieved through the Coast Guard, whether it’s through the Academy or out in the fleet,” said 1/c Garrett.