South Jersey Coast Guard to increase training flights

Halloween HelicopterATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The aircrews of Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City will be taking to the skies more frequently beginning Wednesday and continuing through late April, to conduct annual Rotary Wing Air Intercept pilot training.

In-flight training is an important first step in the qualification process for newly assigned pilots to the unit. Following successful certification they will be responsible for national airspace security missions over the nation’s capital and other critical areas throughout the country.

To qualify for these missions, pilots will take part in hands-on training during daytime and nighttime scenarios. Once qualified, pilots are required to complete periodic training flights to maintain their proficiency.

Introductory training requires instructors and crews from Air Station Atlantic City, as well as the National Capital Region Air Defense Facility in Washington, D.C., to fly at least two flights almost every day over a six-week period.

While aircrews make every effort to diversify active training locations, there will be increased helicopter activity over the inland waterways between Barnegat and Tuckerton, in addition to Ocean City and Stone Harbor. The use of these areas has been negotiated with the Federal Aviation Administration. Areas were carefully selected with an emphasis on minimizing noise impact to the community, while staying clear of commercial and general aviation traffic.

In addition, Air Station Atlantic City will continue to maintain two search-and-rescue response crews around the clock who will conduct various operational and training missions.

“This training is absolutely crucial for aircrews to safely train and ultimately learn these critical national security mission skill sets,” said Lt. Mark Bruno, a helicopter pilot and public affairs officer at Air Station Atlantic City. “We greatly appreciate the incredible support and understanding from the community during this annual event.”

Anyone with questions or concerns may contact Lt. Mark Bruno at 609-677-2184. During non-business hours, please contact the air station operations center at 609-677-2222.

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