News: Coast Guard Aviation Technical Training Center hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony for new facility
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of the new Rescue Swimmer Training Facility in Elizabeth City, N.C., Wednesday.
The new facility incorporates a larger pool as well as an Underwater Modular Egress Trainer where Coast Guard aircrew and response boat crewmembers will train to escape a ditched aircraft or capsized vessel.
“The new pool will allow us to provide more realistic training and introduce environmental conditions to students preparing them for the challenges they will face as operational Rescue Swimmers,” said Lt. Cmdr. Eric Smith, executive officer of the Aviation Technical Training Center. “We owe it to them to provide them the best possible training available.”
The previously used training pool facility was an 8-foot deep 25-by-15 yard pool under a 60-year-old enclosure.
The new pool incorporates a wave and wind generation system producing up to three-foot waves in combination with 70 mph winds. The pool is also equipped with light and noise effects simulating rescue scenarios in inclement weather at night. A moving bulkhead spans the width of the pool allowing instructors to divide the pool into two separate training areas.
There are two 12-foot towers along one side of the pool simulating helicopter platforms for students to jump from as they learn to accomplish future training deployments. Water jets on the towers create the intense rotor-wash effect produced by a helicopter hovering over the water.
The new building encompasses approximately 50,000-square-feet including a 164-by-82-foot training pool measuring 12-feet deep holding more than one million gallons of water.
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