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Search & Rescue

US Navy

This is a Full-time position in Atlanta, GA posted March 26, 2021.


When lives are on the line, Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmers (AIRRs) are exceptionally adept at answering the call. These brave men and women embody the courage of America’s Navy – readily going into harm’s way to complete their rescue missions in some of the most extreme environments imaginable.

Aviation Rescue Swimmers are a tightly knit group, dedicated to being the top helicopter emergency response unit in the world. They routinely put the safety of others before their own – applying intense physical and mental training to save lives in and out of the sea.

What to Expect

Aviation Rescue Swimmer

Naval Aircrewman Helicopter – Sierra

Naval Aircrewman Helicopter – Romeo

Naval Aircrewman: MH-60 Romeo & MH-60 Sierra

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More Information

Full time Part time


As an AIRR, you must be prepared to enter the most treacherous conditions to provide recovery and relief for rescue missions, humanitarian assistance and operational support.

You’ll specialize as a Naval Aircrewman Helicopter (AWS) or a Naval Aircrewman Tactical Helicopter (AWR) .

AWS’s belong to a diverse advanced technical community that is highly specialized to the platform they are assigned. AWS’s operate various aircraft systems to support Surface Warfare (SUW), Search and Rescue (SAR), Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Naval Special Warfare (NSW), Airborne Mine Countermeasure (AMCM), and Logistic missions onboard MH-60S aircraft. Members also serve as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) pilots and payload operators.

AWR’s belong to a diverse community that is highly specialized to the platform they are assigned. AWR’s operate various aircraft systems to support Anti-Submarine (ASW), Anti-Surface (ASUW), Search and Rescue (SAR) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions onboard MH-60R aircraft. While assigned to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) units, they serve as NSW Fire Support specialists as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), Joint Terminal Attack Controller Instructor/Evaluator (JTAC-I/E) or as an NSW Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Mission Commander, pilot, payload operator and technical surveillance operator on various platforms.

Depending on your role, duties may include:

  • Working as an aircrewman aboard a Seahawk helicopter, where the primary duties are to coordinate with the pilots to ensure success of various fleet missions
  • Saving the crew of downed aircraft, people aboard stranded or capsized vessels at sea, or hikers and mountain climbers in danger
  • Rescuing civilians during natural disasters and collaborating with other forces, such as the Coast Guard
  • Delivering aid and supplies to other countries in humanitarian operations
  • Providing support to Naval Special Warfare Operations
  • Conducting surveillance in anti-submarine warfare and drug interdiction operations
  • Operate radar,Forward Looking Infrared sensors, missile systems and door guns in anti-surface operations.
  • Transporting troops and cargo to and from ships

There are no part-time jobs available for this career track.

Work Environment

With the motto of, “So Others May Live,” Aviation Rescue Swimmers exist to help all those in need, in almost every environment.

One day they may be evacuating a family on the other side of the globe in the midst of a catastrophic storm, and the next, rescuing the crew of a ship off the Pacific coast, or saving a mountain climber hanging from an inaccessible cliff.

AIRRs may be assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) sea or shore duty in any part of the world. They are assigned to squadrons at Naval Air Stations and typically deploy aboard aircraft carriers, surface combatants and support ships.

There are no part-time jobs available for this career track.

Training & Advancement

Aviation Rescue Swimmers must be prepared to operate in any challenging environment. AIRR training is realistic and one of the most demanding, life-altering training programs in the Navy.

AIRR candidates undergo almost two years of training in advanced swimming/lifesaving techniques, helicopter mission equipment and crew-served weapons systemsbefore reporting to their first squadron. Throughout training, candidates will be continually tested, mentally and physically, as they advance to more rigorous and challenging scenarios. Training includes:

  • Water and land survival and flight safety (4 weeks at Aircrew Candidate School in Pensacola, FL)
  • Search and Rescue Swimming Skills (5 weeks at Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola, FL)
  • Basic skills in Naval Aviation (14 weeks on average at Class “A” Technical School in Pensacola, FL)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) techniques (2 weeks at SERE School in North Island, CA or Portsmouth, NH)
  • Aircraft systems (28 weeks on average at a Naval Air Station)

Air Rescue Units

After graduation, an AIRR may be assigned toa helicopter command at sea or on shore duty in various locations throughout the U.S., includingSan Diego, CA;Norfolk, VA;Jacksonville, FL;China Lake, CA;Whidbey Island, WA;Key West, FLand many others.

Advanced Education & Training

Based on performance and the needs of the Navy, you could potentially be eligible to receive additional training in:

  • EMT training
  • Advanced Rescue Swimmer School (includes swift water, high seas, cave and cliff rescue training)

Senior enlisted AIRRs may also be selected to become:

  • Schoolhouse instructors
  • Weapons instructors
  • Master rappellers/instructors

There are no part-time jobs available for this career track.

Education Opportunities

Members of the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations (NSW/NSO) community have any number of unique opportunities to advance their knowledge. Navy training provides skills and knowledge in everything from military tactics and small arms use to survival and a number of other tactical military procedures.

Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy training in the NSW/NSO community can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education . You may also continue your education through opportunities like the following:

  • Fleet Replacement Aircrew/Mission Tactical Instructor
  • Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill

There are no part-time jobs available for this career track.

Qualifications & Requirements

No college degree is required to become an AIRR, but a high-degree of difficulty and satisfaction come standard with nearly everything you’ll do. Training is tough and ongoing.

To qualify for Rescue Swimmer Training, both men and women must:

  • Meet specific eyesight requirements: uncorrected vision no worse than 20/100; correctable to 20/20 in both eyes with normal depth and color perception
  • Meet the minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score: VE+AR+MK+MC=210 or VE+AR+MK+AS=210
  • Pass a PST in DEP/Boot Camp
  • Pass Class 1 Flight Physical
  • Be 30 years of age or younger
  • Must be a U.S. citizen and eligible for security clearance

NOTE: You should consult your physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercise regime or other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. This is particularly true if you (or your family) have a history of medical illnesses or ailments that could be made worse by a change in physical activity. Do not start a fitness program if your physician or health-care provider advises against it.

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’recurrently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before .

There are no part-time jobs available for this career track.

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