Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR) has been awarded a contract by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to provide beginner-to-advanced instructor training for helicopter winch operators for helicopter crews MH-65 D/E and MH-60T. The contract provides for a period of up to five years and approximately 475 to 500 students. USCG flight mechanics will attend the P1AR Search and Rescue Tactical Training Academy (SART/TAC) in Mesa, Arizona. They will participate in ground training, training with the USCG’s specific SAR equipment, and complete training on winch and virtual winch simulator with instructors.

Historically, like many other weapons-related services, the USCG has trained its helicopter winch operators through training around a structured program with all winch practice complemented by subsequent training with the helicopter in flight.  This qualification took 4 to 9 months. To meet the training challenges of the increasingly demanding USCG missions, Priority 1 Air Rescue will provide the Coast Guard unit with a tailor-made training solution that includes eLearning and Computer Assisted Training (CAT ???), training guides and manuals, interactive learning and student training management systems and materials. To meet the wide range of USCG SAR mission requirements, P1AR will incorporate proven instructional design approaches and standardized training modules as well as a state-of-the-art simulation system. The virtual winch simulator will allow participants to perform mission-specific winch and search and rescue upgrades in operationally relevant environments.  It will also improve crew readiness by reducing risks and costs, while maximizing the value of training.

For Brad Matheson, President of Priority 1 Air Rescue “It’s a great honor to work with the USCG Office of Aviation Forces and the USCG Aviation Helicopter Standardization Branches. This is certainly one of the most important companies we have had the opportunity to work with,” adding, “We are committed to providing the US Coast Guard with innovative solutions that offer dynamic and effective training programs in order to improve operational readiness and reduce training costs. Although the USCG training program is customized and uses the latest version of our simulator, it is similar to our advanced ab-initio and offshore search and rescue training program which we have been offering to our clients at SART/TAC since 2012”.