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Getting Qualified for Surface, Air and/or TeleCommunications

How do I get Qualified?

So your are looking to become more active on the Operations area but not quite sure where to start.  Well you have come to the right place.  Each area (Surface Operations, AUXAIR, and Telecommunications) all have their own specific requirements for certification and qualification.  They may also have periodic currency maintenance requirements to remain qualified, similar to continuing education credits needed in some professional organizations.

This page will provide information and links to documents that explain how to get qualified in the various programs in the Department of Response for Surface, Air and Communications (fixed Land and Mobile units) operational activities areas.

Qualification Requirements for All Programs

The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards incident management approach that:

  • Allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure.
  • Enables a coordinated response among various jurisdictions and functional agencies, both public and private.
  • Establishes common processes for planning and managing resources.

Auxiliary members seeking to be qualified in an Auxiliary Operational Program, including Surface Operations, Air Operations, Fixed / Mobile Radio Facility Operators, must complete specific ICS courses.  See the attached document for details.

Air Operations Qualification Information

The world of Aviation is exciting, fast paced and demanding. It is also potentially very dangerous.  The most important aspect of the AUXAIR program is flight safety.

Surface Operations Qualification Information

The Surface Operations staff holds regular training workshops and activities to keep all Coxswain, Boat Crew, and PWO {Personal Water Craft Operators) members current on issues involving program administration, operational skills, procedures and safety.  As with the Air program, safety is a key component of this training.

Radio Facility Operators (Fixed and Mobile) Qualification Information

To become involved in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Telecommunications program, applicants must become certified as Telecommunications Operators (TCO).  All operators of fixed land and land mobile radios must be certified as TCO, except for those members who completed AUXCOM prior to 1 August 2008.  Additional details of the qualification requirements for TCO can be found at this link.

To become involved in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary High Frequency (HF) Program applicant must first be qualified as a Telecommunications Operator (TCO) or have completed AUXCOM prior to 1 August 2008.  Prior HF communications experience, either through commercial, military, and or amateur radio experience, will also prove helpful but is not required.  Additional details of qualifications for the HF program are at this link.