Aviation Rescue Swimmer
Posted on: November 25, 2022
As an AIRR, you must be prepared to enter the most treacherous
conditions to provide recovery and relief for rescue missions,
humanitarian assistance and operational support. Some of your
duties might include:
* Working as an aircrew on a SH-60 helo, where the primary duties
are to coordinate with the pilots to ensure success of various
* Saving pilots of downed aircraft, people aboard stranded or
capsized vessels at sea, or hikers and mountain climbers in
* Rescuing civilians during natural disasters and collaborating
with other forces, such as the Coast Guard
* Delivering aid and supplies to other countries in humanitarian
* Providing support to Naval Special Warfare Operations
* Conducting surveillance in anti-submarine warfare and drug
* Operate radar, Forward Looking Infrared sensors, missile systems
and door guns in anti-surface operations.
* Transporting troops and cargo to and from ships
Aviation Rescue Swimmers may help just about anyone, in almost any
environment. They might have to save a family on the other side of
the globe who is desperately trying to survive a destructive storm,
the crew of a sinking ship off the Pacific coast, or a wounded
mountain climber hanging from a nearly inaccessible cliff.
AIRRs may be assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM)
sea or shore duty in any part of the world. They are assigned to
squadrons at Naval Air Stations and typically deploy aboard
aircraft carriers, surface combatants and support ships.
TRAINING & ADVANCEMENT
Aviation Rescue Swimmers must be prepared to operate in any
challenging environment. AIRR training is realistic and one of the
most demanding, life-altering training programs in the Navy.
AIRR candidates undergo almost two years of training in advanced
swimming/lifesaving techniques, helicopter mission equipment and
crew served weapons systems" before reporting to their first
squadron. Throughout training, candidates will be continually
tested, mentally and physically, as they advance to more rigorous
and challenging scenarios. Training includes:
* Water and land survival and flight safety (4 weeks at Aircrew
Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla.)
* Search and Rescue Swimming Skills (5 weeks at Rescue Swimmer
School in Pensacola, Fla.)
* Basic skills in Naval Aviation (14 weeks on average at Class "A"
Technical School in Pensacola, Fla.)
* Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) techniques (2
weeks at SERE School in North Island, Calif., or Portsmouth NH)
* Aircraft systems (28 weeks on average at a Naval Air Station)
Air Rescuse Units
After graduation, an AIRR may be assigned to a helicopter command
at sea or on shore duty in various locations thoughout the U.S.,
including San Diego CA, Norfolk VA, Jacksonville FL, China Lake,
Calif., Whidbey Island, Wash., Key West, Fl. and many others.
Advanced Education & Training
Based on performance and the needs of the Navy, you could
potentially be eligible to receive additional training in:
* EMT training
* Advanced Rescue Swimmer School (includes swift water, high seas,
cave and cliff rescue training)
Senior Enlisted AIRRs may also be selected to become:
* Schoolhouse instructors
* Weapons instructors
* Master rappellers/instructors
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and
based on performance. It's also important to note that specialized
training received and work experience gained in the course of
service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational
opportunities in related fields.
Members of the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations
(NSW/NSO) community have any number of unique opportunities to
advance their knowledge. Navy training provides skills and
knowledge in everything from military tactics and small arms use to
survival and a number of other tactical military procedures.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and
certifications, Navy training in the NSW/NSO community can
translate to credit hours toward a bachelor's or associate degree
through the American Council on Education. You may also continue
your education through opportunities like the following:
* Fleet Replacement Aircrew/Mission Tactical Instructor
* Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance
* Post-9/11 GI Bill
QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
No college degree is required to become an Enlisted Navy AIRR, but
a high degree of difficulty and satisfaction come standard with
nearly everything you'll do. Training is tough and ongoing.
To qualify for Rescue Swimmer Training, both men and women
* Meet specific eyesight requirements: uncorrected vision no worse
than 20/100; correctable to 20/20 in both eyes with normal depth
and color perception
* Meet the minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
(ASVAB) score: VE+AR+MK+MC=210 or VE+AR+MK+AS=210
* Pass a PST in DEP/Boot Camp
* Pass Class 1 Flight Physical
* Be 30 years of age or younger
* Must be a U.S. citizen and eligible for security clearance
The chart below highlights the current minimum Navy Physical
Screening Test (PST) requirements for Navy Challenge Programs.
NOTE: You should consult your physician or other health-care
professional before starting any exercise regime or other fitness
program to determine if it is right for your needs. This is
particularly true if you (or your family) have a history of medical
illnesses or ailments that could be made worse by a change in
physical activity. Do not start a fitness program if your physician
or health-care provider advises against it.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you're
currently serving, whether you've served before or whether you've
never served before.
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