These here is a list of some of the activities that Flotilla 39-08 is involved: 

Boating Education

Taught by experienced and knowledgeable instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard, our courses provide instruction to boaters at all levels, from basic to advanced.

Our flotilla routinely offers the Boating Skills and Seamanship course in the Spring and Fall of each year. This is a comprehensive course designed for both the experienced and the novice boater. Please check this page for details or Contact Us.

For a list of currently available classes across the country (including our area), please visit the national U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Classes page.

Our Class Schedule: ABC Boating Safety Course can be found on the Calendar page. 

Vessel Safety Exams

As one of our boating safety missions, we conduct complimentary Vessel Safety Checks of recreational watercraft (boats, personal watercraft, etc.).

An example of some of the items examined during a Vessel Safety Check:

    * Personal Flotation Devices (life jackets)
    * Navigation lights
    * Fire extinguishers
    * Battery cover and connections
    * Registration and numbering
    * Ventilation
    * Distress signals (flares, horn, etc.)

All of these items, and more, are currently required by state and federal laws and, if missing or non-operating, can result in a citation if your vessel is inspected by local, regional or national law enforcement personnel.

We do not issue citations nor do we report the results of the safety check to any enforcement agency, but we will advise you of the recommended safety features for your size boat and will award a decal to display on your boat if it has passed the safety check.

The Vessel Safety Check gives you a risk-free way to meet the legal minimums and to potentially avoid a costly citation.

You may arrange for a Vessel Safety Check by:

    * Signing up for an appointment at your local Marina
    * Catching a member of the Auxiliary at the Marina
    * Check our calenday page for a vessel exam near you. 


Flotilla 39-08 main operational mission is aviation. As an USCG Aux aviator one participates in many Coast Guard missions including:

    * Search and Rescue,
    * Ports,
    * Waterways and Coastal Security,
    * Marine Safety,
    * Pollution Response,
    * Aids to Navigation, and
    * Ice Reconnaissance.

We also conduct Logistic Transport Missions in support of Air Station Traverse City and the Waukegan AirFac. AUXAIR is an integral part of the Coast Guard search and rescue team and its homeland security forces.

As with surface operators, air facility operators are issued patrol orders. Orders are issued based on schedules created by crew and facility availability and the needs of the Coast Guard. Coast Guard Air Stations are the Order Issuing Authority for AUXAIR.  This alignment of Auxiliary aviation assets in a district with an Air Station is known as the “squadron concept”, because aviation orders and direction flow directly between the Air Station and the district aviation staff.

Pilot Qualifications

There are three qualification levels for pilots, similar to active duty Coast Guard:

    * Aircraft Commander,
    * First Pilot, and
    * Co-Pilot.

Minimum requirements for the different levels for pilots are measured by Pilot in Command time and are:

    * 1000 hours with an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) rating for Aircraft Commander,
    * 500 hours for First Pilot, and
    * 200 hours for Co-Pilots.

These levels of pilot qualification are also linked to the types of missions they are authorized to fly.  All pilots must pass recurrent flight checks and undergo annual safety training.

AUXAIR does not offer flight training for pilots. Rather, it builds on what certificated pilots already have learned. Pilot applicants learn about search and rescue (SAR) techniques and patterns, Coast Guard communications, and Coast Guard flight safety rules and procedures.

Pilot candidates must successfully pass a written open book test, take water survival training and pass a check flight. Auxiliary aviators are held to high standards of training and safety. Auxiliary pilots are Pilots-in-Command of each mission.

Non-Pilot Crew Positions

Non-pilot crew positions include Observer and Air Crew. Observers must pass air operations training and egress/water survival training. Air Crew are observers with additional training and qualifications. Observers generally handle communications between aircraft and Coast Guard units, assist the pilot with navigation, keep records in the air, and focus their attention outside while searching. Observers are the payload for search missions. AUXAIR can not perform most missions without the Observer.

Observer training includes:

    * aviation orientation,
    * observation techniques,
    * communications,
    * search techniques and patterns, and
    * safety and survival skills.

Observer candidates must successfully pass a written open book test, take water survival training, and gain experience in the air on missions, then demonstrate their skills to a First Pilot or Aircraft Commander.

Experienced Observers may be eligible to earn the Air Crew rating. The training for the Air Crew rating rounds out the Observer's knowledge with more instruction on:

    * aviation and aircraft operations,
    * crew resource management,
    * aviation communications, and
    * navigation procedures.

Candidates for Air Crew pass a physical exam, learn the contents of the Air Crew Training Syllabus, are trained and examined on that material by Instructor Pilots and Flight Examiners and, if successful, are certified by the Director of Auxiliary. All flight crew members (including all Observers, Air Crew, and all pilots) must have annual emergency egress training and water survival training. This includes a 75-yard swim, life raft and emergency gear familiarization, and may include optional training in the SWET – Shallow Water Egress Trainer.

AUXAIR training is ongoing, with aviation training workshops held at least annually. Recurrent training is conducted in Crew Resource Management (CRM), aviation decision-making, risk management, aero-medical topics, Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), and general aviation safety topics. AUXAIR patrol and administrative topics are included as well.