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Old 03-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default AIRR ?'s

Hello there, I've recently joined this wonderful forum and couldn't find much about airr. Im currently dry aw, but I plan on volunteering for wet when I get to boot camp. I'm not all that great of swimmer...yet, but other than that, I am in very good shape. What I worry about is RSS though, and how difficult it really is? I crossfit a couple times a week, along with standard work out 5 times a week for a 40 min. (non stop circuit lifting). Any body know a day to day or have info for rss?
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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It's insane... PT, PT, swimming, PT, and more swimming... then break for lunch, and repeat. Lol!

If you're not a good swimmer, you're gonna have trouble even getting through NACCS for "Dry" Aircrew... that's all we do here... PT and swim (RSS just does it more and for 5 extra weeks). I don't say that to scare you or sound like a jerk, but I've seen way to many candidates get rolled out and drop because they weren't proficient in the water.

Also, you don't get a chance to volunteer for AIRR at RTC... you'd have to challenge for a SpecWar contract while you're still in DEP.

Out of curiosity, what is it about AIRR that has you interested?
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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You are going to need to be working out and training way more than 40 minutes a day to prepare for RSS; atleast that's what im doing but Hassino would know much more than i do. I can tell you bascially what i do in a week for workouts if that helps. He is right about not being able to volunteer im bootcamp. You have to talk to your recruiter and tell him you want to be a Rescue Swimmer and he will call the local specwar coordinator to schedule you a PST. You must also get paperwork from MEPS that allows you to be qualified to take the PST. Once you pass the minimum requirements in the swim, push, pull, sit, and run then he will enter you in the draft where you will hopefully be picked up and given a contract. Your scores must be competitive though, you are competiting against many others who want that contract too.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
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Lifting isn't gonna do anything to help you prepare for RSS... in fact, it'll probably hurt you because muscle sinks! It's all about running... 6 miles at a 8:00/mile pace should be an easy day for you! The general workouts for both NACCS and RSS are endurance, leg, and core exercises... push-ups, sit-ups, flutter-kicks, and running.

Speaking with the RSS candidates, the biggest killer for them is simply not being proficient in the water... you're gonna be expected to jump in and not touch the side or bottom of the pool... get pulled underwater and tow an unresponsive body for up to a mile without stopping.

After that, there are the candidates who can't get the first-aid down... and then there are even the folks who class up, realize they're going AWR and are likely never going to get to rescue anyone, and lose the drive to succeed.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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I can swim 500m in 10 min on freestyle, but i know that is sub standard for airr. As my out of water pt, that doesnt worry me. Crossfit has taken care of that. As for "lifting", i do high rep endurance lifting. Nothing lower than 20 reps followed by loads of flutter kicks. I will be doing my own pst tomorrow and I will post the results. As for my desire for airr, it's something challenging. Not too sound conceited, but it's a big deal to save lives and I would like to be that person. They allow for volunteers through boot camp, and I leave in April so I feel I may just go for broke.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Thank you both for the replies too, I appreciate you taking the time to do that. Any insight on the work outs they do in pool?
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
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As for my desire for airr, it's something challenging. Not too sound conceited, but it's a big deal to save lives and I would like to be that person. They allow for volunteers through boot camp, and I leave in April so I feel I may just go for broke.
You need to be aware that most Aviation Rescue Swimmers don't actually make rescues. If you get AWR, you'll be conducting anti-submarine warfare work in the back of an MH-60R... and if you're an AWS, you'll primarily be conducting VERTREP (Resupply) or manning a door gun depending on the mission. Sure, you'll train for rescues, and if you're hot enough to get assigned to a SAR squadron, you'll probably make some actual rescues while assisting the Coast Guard or local governments... but you're job is an H-60 crewman first, and a rescue swimmer second... and even the purpose of that is essentially to rescue downed pilots, and fortunately they don't go down very often.

Bottom line - if you wanna be like Ashton Kutcher in "The Guardian", join the Coast Guard and become an Aviation Survival Technician... if you wanna be a helo crewman, do some cool shit, and maybe... maybe... make an actual rescue, then AIRR is an awesome program.

And who has been telling you that you can volunteer for AIRR at RTC? They do not have the staffing or time to run people through PSTs and give them slots in 800 divisions... and RSS is currently so backlogged, they're haven't put a single AIRR candidate in a NACCS class for almost a month now.

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Thank you both for the replies too, I appreciate you taking the time to do that. Any insight on the work outs they do in pool?
Lots of sprints... crawl as fast as you can... treading, drown-proofing, buddy tows, etc. This is in addition to all the other water survival training you've done at NACCS. Here's a somewhat recent video that'll give you an idea:

USN Rescue Swimmer School (2011)
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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I am aware of all this. But too have the chance to affect some bodies life is worth it. It's a good thing rescues don't happen more often, like you said. Airr is a great program from what I've read, and Im very eager to be helo. How often is dry helo handed out? When would I receive my platform if I stayed dry?
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:36 PM   #9
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AWS slots for AIRC come and go... currently they are giving out 2-4 slots per class, but that's all subject to change once it fills up... there are only 2 squadrons for the MH-53E. It also varies by class... 2 classes before me, they had 4 slots and 6 people wanted it... class before me had 2 slots and 1 wanted it so the 2nd was forced on someone else... my class had 3 slots and 4 people wanted it. Next class? Who knows...
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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That's understandable. Do the duties aboard a h53 include any gunning or vert rep? I'm just,he'll bent on helo, but I am at the navy's needs if it isn't open. Are you referring to naccs class? Is that when orders are handed out?
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:15 PM   #11
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They do have crew served weapons on the 53s, and you'll train on them, but they rarely deploy them on missions. The primary mission of the 53 is mine-countermeasure work... you'll drag a sled behind the helo that locates sea mines. You'll also do humanitarian work if there's a disaster somewhere... the Sea Dragons were deployed to Pakistan, Japan, and Haiti after the quakes.
Yes, you'll find out if you're going AWF, AWV, AWO, or AWS the last week of NACCS... from there, you'll go to your applicable A School, and at the end of A School, you find out what specific type of aircraft you'll be flying on... unless you get AWS, then you already know you're going on a 53.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #12
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Is there a selection process? I read that the top personell choose platforms on a wish list. If this is true, what determines rank among classmates besides physical ability? Are there written tests?

Hassino, I'd like to thank you for this. There's a great deal of information out there, but none like this. Not only are you helping me, but future aw's who also want this info.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:24 AM   #13
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Unfortunately it is far too close to your ship date to try out at the PST's. You are going to have to hope for that lucky AWS spot. I wish the best of luck to you, you are going to have to train hard quick then. People have been training atleast a year or two to prepare for RSS.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:56 AM   #14
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The selection process varies a little based on your instructor... a few of them are 53 crewmen, so they tend to want to actually interview any potential candidates in their class who want it.

For the rest... assuming there is a spot open... they'll ask the class who wants dry helo Fri at the end of "Hell Week", after your mile swim (This is the only one you'll find out before everyone else because you go through different training for "Disney Week"); if nobody or not enough candidates volunteer, they'll voluntell people at random. If more candidates want it than there are slots, then they'll look at everyone's training jacket to see who has the most chits, who barely passed their PST, etc. if there are still too many applicants, they'll usually just make everyone pick a number between 1 and 100.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:28 PM   #15
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Kristen: I know it's too late for the pst's.

Hassino: is it considered a special privelage to receive the helo spot? What types of things are there to excel at during naccs? What sub rate have you selected? How was your a school?

Im not too concerned on airr, I realized I am lucky enough to even have aircrew as a job.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:03 AM   #16
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Haasino: is it considered a special privelage to receive the helo spot? What types of things are there to excel at during naccs? What sub rate have you selected? How was your a school?

Im not too concerned on airr, I realized I am lucky enough to even have aircrew as a job.
Not necessarily a privelage... but they do come up less often. Sometimes people are fighting over spots... sometimes nobody wants it and they force it on someone. You'll learn once you get here that fixed-wing has some major advantages. As far as how to excell - don't get any counseling chits (That's actually a lot harder than it sounds here), pass your swim evolutions on the first try, keep up during PT.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:10 AM   #17
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You'll learn once you get here that fixed-wing has some major advantages.
Can i skip that wait please? haha. Is the major advantage that the helo's go on a sea tour and the large aircraft are back at base at the end of their flight? Im hoping my training will help me for when i get out, and i assume thats the second reason aircraft have the advantage...any insight will be appreciated
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:27 AM   #18
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Here's the blunt truth of it, as delivered to us by two AWS2s and a Marine 53 crewman:

53s crash... Helos in general have a higher likelihood of a catastrophic Class A Mishap because they're closer to the ground... less time to fix a problem if one comes up. Both of my instructors have been injured in a mishap... one also lost a good friend when the 53 he was supposed to be flying on went into the water off Hawaii. We lost 2 MH-53Es last year alone... one with the loss of 2 aircrewmen. The last fatal P-3 mishap was in 1991. 53s are also only stationed at Norfolk, and mostly deploy to Bahrain and South Korea, because those are the two regions that need a mine countermeasures helo. Per diem is possible, but not as common.

Fixed-wing has its perks because you take off and land at a NAS. When you deploy, it's often on per diem... that means you sleep in a hotel and get paid an extra ~$150/day. Our AWV1 told us about his last deployment to Sicily where he made enough per diem to fly his wife out 3 times and take several ~$4k weekend vacations to mainland Italy.

It's all about personal preference though... I love helos, but I don't like 53s. That's why I'm happy I'm going AWO!
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:16 PM   #19
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That's great information! I'll have to do some research on per diem. I'm thinking helo or cod is the route for me, I want to be out at sea. As for awo, is that fairly transferable between platforms? Meaning, can you go from operating on a p3 to c130 or other platforms? The p3 is gone soon so I'm curious to what the navy's plans are to convert there current operators.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #20
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AWOs are being transitioned onto the P-3's replacement, the P-8A Poseidon. They're also reel and comms operators on the E-6B Mercurys. We're also going to operate the new MQ-4C Triton UAVs.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:47 PM   #21
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I read a previous post and understand that I won't be able to volunteer for Aircrew at boot camp (I ship on April 3). My recruiter looked at AW jobs and they are overmanned until the end of the fiscal year.
Being a female, what do you think the chances are for me to reclassify as an aircrew later, perhaps during the next fiscal year?
My 500 swimm is a 6.30 (without really trying), I run an 8 min. mile. I just don't want to wait until the new fiscal year to go.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:05 PM   #22
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I may be mistaken, but I believe there are only certain windows of time where you can try to re-class or cross-rate from one rating to another. With the exception of Aircrew itself, I don't think you can just stop doing the job you enlisted into at any time, and choose to do another. For you, it may be 18-24 months down the road before you're given the opportunity to cross-rate... and at that point, hard to speculate where the manning levels will be.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I read a previous post and understand that I won't be able to volunteer for Aircrew at boot camp (I ship on April 3). My recruiter looked at AW jobs and they are overmanned until the end of the fiscal year.
Being a female, what do you think the chances are for me to reclassify as an aircrew later, perhaps during the next fiscal year?
My 500 swimm is a 6.30 (without really trying), I run an 8 min. mile. I just don't want to wait until the new fiscal year to go.
I would say try out for AIRR, but you ship in a week or so. I don't know much about reclassification, but I've read you can only do that now 15 or something months prior to your EAOS, but then again, I've heard others say after two years so I don't really know for sure. Also, it's never guaranteed either if you can cross-rate. It depends on quite a few factors if one wants to convert into another rate as in the rate you want to go into needs to be undermanned and the rate you're in now needs to be overmanned or something like that. Other qualifications would be being a PO1 or below, no NJP's within 18 months, and you need to be recommended by the CO.

Your times are very competitive for swim and run though, insanely jealous. I got picked up for AIRR and my times for those two weren't that good either.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:44 PM   #24
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You are going to need to be working out and training way more than 40 minutes a day to prepare for RSS; atleast that's what im doing but Hassino would know much more than i do. I can tell you bascially what i do in a week for workouts if that helps. He is right about not being able to volunteer im bootcamp. You have to talk to your recruiter and tell him you want to be a Rescue Swimmer and he will call the local specwar coordinator to schedule you a PST. You must also get paperwork from MEPS that allows you to be qualified to take the PST. Once you pass the minimum requirements in the swim, push, pull, sit, and run then he will enter you in the draft where you will hopefully be picked up and given a contract. Your scores must be competitive though, you are competiting against many others who want that contract too.
at what point can u "volunteer" for air crew? Im a contracted AD (haven't been to boot yet) and I been under the impression I can volunteer at anytime for air crew. I am really intrigued by rescue swimmer.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:04 PM   #25
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at what point can u "volunteer" for air crew? Im a contracted AD (haven't been to boot yet) and I been under the impression I can volunteer at anytime for air crew. I am really intrigued by rescue swimmer.
You can no longer volunteer for Aircrew as an AD... that ended on October 1st, 2008. You must now be contracted with AIRC (Fixed-wing/MH-53) or AIRR (MH-60/Rescue Swimmer) in your contract from MEPS, to ultimately receive a rating of AWO, AWR, AWV, AWF, or AWS.

You can possibly volunteer for surface Rescue Swimmer duties, which would be a part-time tertiary duty while on a ship... but Aviation Rescue Swimmer is a skill held by full-time flyers in either the Naval Aircrewman (Tactical Helicopter) or Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) ratings.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:53 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haasino View Post
You can no longer volunteer for Aircrew as an AD... that ended on October 1st, 2008. You must now be contracted with AIRC (Fixed-wing/MH-53) or AIRR (MH-60/Rescue Swimmer) in your contract from MEPS, to ultimately receive a rating of AWO, AWR, AWV, AWF, or AWS.

You can possibly volunteer for surface Rescue Swimmer duties, which would be a part-time tertiary duty while on a ship... but Aviation Rescue Swimmer is a skill held by full-time flyers in either the Naval Aircrewman (Tactical Helicopter) or Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) ratings.
Thanks for the info...that's what I'll try to do and possibly cross rate at a later date if I'm not happy with AD
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