There are several national and local USCG policy documents or topics that are critical for the USCG Auxiliary Surface Operations program, and therefore important for the Boat Crew Qualification Program.
The updated program no longer has annual tasks, but has a 3 year currency cycle with a detailed check ride with a QE every 3 years, and 12 hours required time underway each year (coxswains can perform as either crew or coxswain).
Click here for a special F.A.Q. on Currency.
From ALCOAST message 033/06, the following text is good guidance for all coxswains and crewmembers:
Quicklinks to policy topics on this page:
The Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual should be well-known by all involved in surface operations (as well as by those in radio and aviation operations). Click here to go to the Downloads page section for this important manual.
VERY IMPORTANT: Coast Guard Headquarters does issue modifications to policy, often long before a formal change document or new revision is issued. There does not appear to be any one place where a member can see the accumulated changes in writing, although this is supposed to be a function of the Chief Director's website and the Chief Director's Surface Operations website. An example of change: ALCOAST message 033/06, which specifically clarifies homeland security missions (prohibiting Auxiliary surface facilities from performing any Port Waterways and Coastal Security [PWCS] missions given that these all require armed patrols.)
Every coxswain should just about be able to quote from memory the Maritime SAR Assistance Policy (MSAP). QEs will certainly ask questions about this knowledge during dockside examinations and underway check rides. This policy covers any request to the USCG for assistance.
This important policy is actually Section 4.1 of the USCG Addendum to the United States National Search and Rescue Supplement to the IAMSAR. Although you can download (and are encouraged to download, read, and understand) the entire addendum, we have extracted just the MSAP into a PDF document here: Maritime SAR Assistance Policy.
All USCG and USCG Auxiliary boat crews must wear protective equipment when underway. The specific items vary depending upon water and air temperature. To refresh your memory, here is the chart of "what" and "when" (this chart is from the Rescue and Survival Systems Manual and is also repeated in the Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual):
"Dry suits" do not provide buoyancy, hence a PFD must still be worn. The MSD900 suit provides both dry suit-like protection and inherent buoyancy, so a PFD is not worn with that suit. The undergarments are a critical part of both dry suit and MSD900 protection. "Boat Crew Survival Vest" refers to the vest that the USCG uses to hold other required gear; most Auxiliarists have that required gear in their PFD pockets or on the PFD. (For the USCG, the vest is personal equipment while the PFD might be shared.)
As of 1 October 2005, the minimum required crew levels for surface operations in D1NR was relaxed to match the Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual. This rescinds the policy (clarified from past practice) in a 15 June 2004 memo from D1NR DIRAUX.
You can see the formal 1 Oct 2005 memorandum by clicking here.
When identifying a Coast Guard Sector command in written communications, always use the full word SECTOR. Do not use SEC or just the letter S. In D1NR, we have three sectors: SECTOR NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND, SECTOR BOSTON, and SECTOR SOUTHEASTERN NEW ENGLAND. Abbreviated forms of these names would be SECTOR NNE, SECTOR BOS, and SECTOR SENE. (Note that Southeastern is one word in the long form, but is abbreviated SE in the short form.)
Visitors from other districts (e.g. members in districts other than D1NR) often ask about participating in surface operations in D1NR. The Auxiliary Boat Crew Training Manual (ABCTM) describes how visitors are certified outside their home district. Here is a short description of the process that needs to be followed to be visitor-certified in D1NR:
The process must be repeated after the visitor completes their 3-year currency certification in their home district (e.g. the D1NR certification is concurrent with and limited to their normal 3-year cycle). If the visitor does not maintain currency in their home district, the D1NR certification is automatically considered revoked.
[Currency check rides and initial qualification with a QE for D1NR members for their home D1NR certification must be done with D1NR QEs, this cannot be done in another district. Each district only does certification work for their district.]
Members that transfer their membership into D1NR have a slightly different process than visitors to establish their boat crew certification in D1NR.
The Personnel Security Investigation policy was substantially changed on April 21, 2006 in ALCOAST 231/06 (found in ALAUX 011/06). Those in surface operations do not need to have a Direct Operational classification (this is the more lengthy and detailed security check), only the "regular" check (OS, Operational Support) that all Auxiliary members have submitted and passed with successful results.
The exception would be rare, but is as follows:
AS DIRECTED BY A COAST GUARD COMMAND AUTHORITY FOR ANY AUXILIARIST WHO, DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE SUPPORT THEY PROVIDE, HAS A CLEAR, ARTICULABLE, AND RECURRING NEED FOR A SECURITY CLEARANCE (EG - AN AUXILIARY COMMS WATCHSTANDER WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE ACCESS TO AND HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL ALONG WITH COMMENSURATE NEED-TO-KNOW).
At this time, every member has submitted an OS package. Every new member will have submitted an OS package. The above information is for reference.
This website is intended for
USCG Auxiliary members in the First District, Northern Region.