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AST-AVIATION SURVIVAL TECHNICIAN
Last Post 08 Jan 2018 01:13 PM by mkelly. 589 Replies.
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Old Guard2User is Offline
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19 Apr 2017 02:14 PM
Everyone is in a position to choose their rate. Hence the saying choose your rate, choose your fate. A fair amount of information translates to no information at all. You can't get AST guaranteed so you will go into the fleet as a nonrate. At that time you can look at the rating, meet people like MKelly and Lance, let them tell you quite a bit more than a fair amount. Also consider looking at YN, OS, FS, BM, MK any rate in the CG. You are given that opportunity, take advantage of it. You are not pigeon holed into something before even starting boot camp. I'm not saying AST isn't the route you'll take but be certain that is what you want. Make sure you look around and weigh all your options.

If you approach AST thinking well, I could have a backup plan... just go with that backup. It is the toughest school in the CG. I hate to take away anything from the other rates but it is grueling. If you already start thinking about something else, you'll be doomed. Also, if you start think when I flunk, I can go back. No, think I want this, I will do this, nothing will get in my way. However, to answer your question, there are instances where a nonrate can come back to AST school for a second try. There are a only a few limited ways that can happen. It is also up to the school case by case. Your buddy may not make it and be invited to try again, you may not make it and they might say you need to find another path. There is no black and white answer to that question.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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19 Apr 2017 03:16 PM
Hello, 

I appreciate your response! My main concern was; Where would I end up if I don't pass AST school. You've answered it. Thanks!
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19 Apr 2017 05:21 PM
Just FYI, there is now a guaranteed AST A School program available to recruits. You will obviously need to get all the details from a recruiter, but the gist of it is that your recruiter has to verify that you can pass a PT pre-screen, you ship to boot camp where you will have to pass another PT pre-screen, then you are sent to an air station for 4 months where you will be able to prepare for AST A School (in addition to regular non-rate duties, I assume), then you go to A School.
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03 Jun 2017 06:45 PM
Hi all, so I am extremely interested in AST and was wondering what the process for boot camp is like specifically. My recruiter has told me that they can test you for it during boot and if you pass send you to an airstation immediately after boot to prep for a-school. I was wondering specifically how this happens? Do the instructors have to specifically pick you to test for it in boot based on your pt results or can you simply say you want to test for it at some point? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I can pass all the requirements regarding the basic pft test as well as the ast specific one, I was just wondering if I should be aiming for specific times/scores in boot to be selected to test for ast.
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03 Jun 2017 11:22 PM
Tell your recruiter that you would like to be in that program. They should set it up in your contract and will probably test you beforehand. I'm sure at some point in boot camp they will ask or already know who is in the program and test you again. Once you pass, you'll be on your merry little way to an Air Station.....the greatest place to work in the Coast Guard.
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07 Jun 2017 01:54 PM
Sounds like the candidate screening test is taken before bootcamp and again during bootcamp.

Sounds like people are coming into bootcamp under prepared for the screening test. My recruiter told me that 5 of 6 of the last applicants failed their screening in bootcamp. 

My thought is that they must have tested incorrectly before boot or performed poorly under pressure in bootcamp.

Has anyone out there taken the candidate screening test at bootcamp recently? 

The two things that are a bit unclear to me are with the 25m underwaters. 

Is it a 2-minute maximum rest after the 450m swim? 

Are wall pushes allowed for the underwater swims?

I understand that the idea is to over prepare, so that's the plan, but I feel like a lot of guys must be overlooking something.  I mean... the screening test is after all a test that you're given the answers to beforehand so it'd be a kick in the teeth to fail it. 


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07 Jun 2017 05:30 PM
Does your recruiter have the screening sheet? That would be your best answer. During our PT test we are allowed to push off the wall but things can be different for you guys. Train the hardest way, don't push off the wall, take 90 sec rest instead of 2 mins, etc... This will prepare you for whats ahead. You will be surprised on day 1 of Swimmer school how many guys can barely pass the in test.
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07 Jun 2017 07:33 PM
I have a printed version of the screening test.  I'll post a link once I find one, or I'll scan the paper copy when I get a chance.  I believe that the 2-minute max rest is for between pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups and chin-ups.  But I'm just not sure if that max rest period goes for after the 450m swim and before the 25m unders.  It clearly states that in between each of the 4, 25m underwater swims there is a 90-second rest period.

As you said, I'll just plan on doing it the hard way.  I tried it that way today and popped on my 4th length.  FAIL

I think my weak point right now is doing hypoxic sets.  Need to keep getting reps in I guess to develop a more relaxed swim stroke.  The frustration is motivating and the bar keeps moving, so I'm enjoying the process.

Having you guys as a resource is awesome and it's greatly appreciated.  
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09 Jun 2017 08:19 AM
The two minute max rest is after every full evolution. It goes after your 450 meter swim. You get 90 seconds after each under water though. If there was an evolution after all 4 under waters, you would get 2 minutes at the end of the 4th under water.
And let me tell you something: everybody has a hard time with the under waters. Thats pretty much why people quit. Once you get to school, you'll be wishing for that 90 seconds rest.
Like Lance said, its really surprising at the amount of people that struggle with the PT in test. If you don't pass it the first day, you're just going to get more and more tired and have a harder time as the days go on.
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09 Jun 2017 12:13 PM
Got it. Thanks for the insight.
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08 Jul 2017 12:31 PM
Posted By CC321 on 07 Jun 2017 02:54 PM
Sounds like the candidate screening test is taken before bootcamp and again during bootcamp.

Sounds like people are coming into bootcamp under prepared for the screening test. My recruiter told me that 5 of 6 of the last applicants failed their screening in bootcamp. 

My thought is that they must have tested incorrectly before boot or performed poorly under pressure in bootcamp.

Has anyone out there taken the candidate screening test at bootcamp recently? 

The two things that are a bit unclear to me are with the 25m underwaters. 

Is it a 2-minute maximum rest after the 450m swim? 

Are wall pushes allowed for the underwater swims?

I understand that the idea is to over prepare, so that's the plan, but I feel like a lot of guys must be overlooking something.  I mean... the screening test is after all a test that you're given the answers to beforehand so it'd be a kick in the teeth to fail it. 



I just finished boot camp, and although I was not in this program as I did not know about it I do know 3 recruits who were.  To answer your questions from what I gathered from them....

The reason they did not pass from your prediction is that they were under stress... NO.  They are not put under too much stress during the tests.  Granted, the test is administered the first Friday, so they may still be in that stage of shock, but generally speaking, that would not be the reason they failed.

The 25 minute under waters are go like this--Push off the wall to the middle of the 50M pool, rest the allotted then back to wall without a push off.  So you get to push off on 2 of the 4 underwaters.

Not sure about the rest time after the 450M, but that should be easy without being tired at the end anyway. 
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06 Sep 2017 04:28 AM
PRAY FOR:
All of our service personnel who will be going out after Irmas fury in PR and other places.
Especially the first responders, pilots, and crew, ground personnel. 
That the suffrage would be minimal. 
That God would have mercy on us.
For my son who just celebrated his 8th year as an AST, who is stationed in PR.
For his wife and little children as he is on duty away from them.
Thanx in advance.   -CG Mom & Dad


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06 Sep 2017 12:36 PM
You got it, prayers for all of them to be safe... Prayers for your daughter in law and grands. I hope they are all safe. Please let us know when all is said and done they are all ok.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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06 Sep 2017 01:48 PM
My son just called, he's home. They are having 40mph winds right now(1500) at USCG Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico. His truck is in the big hangar with all helos 65, 60 c130's smaller fixed wing aircraft and support vehicles. I have a great picture of the hangar but I'm not allowed to post it. They are starting out this weekend in the USVI and work themselves up to Fla. May take weeks away from home. He's qualified for 65 and 60 helo rescues.  Keep praying.
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06 Sep 2017 03:35 PM
I've seen the picture. It is on several groups on Facebook. It looks like controlled chaos. I know they know what they're doing. But wow! Prayers for him to be safe out there.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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07 Sep 2017 12:07 PM
parking in the hangar is the standard for hurricanes going through PR. Did it a few times when I was stationed in Borinquen. It is well orchestrated chaos that gets response aircraft around the island, not just CG, in there so they are ready to go once the storm passes. It was nice when they let us park our personal vehicles as well.
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03 Jan 2018 03:35 PM
Son heading to AST shadow week Jan 8! Don't think he's ready. He received a workout plan from a sponsor for the next few months leading up to the April class, and has been working on that... he was anticipating that time to prepare and was surprised to be going to shadow so quickly. Do they wash people out on the shadow week if they aren't prepared for the full class? Do they consider current level of fitness and attitude if they struggle a little through this week?
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mkelly

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03 Jan 2018 05:02 PM
Do you know who his AST mentor is right now? Where is he currently stationed? I'm an AST mentor and have a couple of candidates right now that I'm in contact with right now but I don't think any are scheduled to head out there for the week anytime soon. The week should be used as a learning tool and your son shouldn't be worried really. It is nothing like "A" school. I think the last day they may run them through a watered down version of "A" school. The week is used as an assessment tool for the candidates and instructors. They will take them through some land workout stuff and get them in the pool and get them used to some of the things they should be doing or will be doing soon. Not really like the "A" school environment. They are going to be honest with the students at the end of the week and tell them what they need to work on. It may be an eye opener for your son or may be a sign that he is on the right track. The instructors at "A" school will also get in contact with his mentor and give him an update to steer him in the right direction.
As of right now I talk to my candidates a couple of times a week usually and a couple of them either hit the pool or make it for some land PT with us. I usually have a pretty good idea of who has a chance to make it deep into school and who may not do too well. I'm pretty honest with my candidates and I feel like they should know how they are going to do before they get to the week. All it really takes is one pool workout and one land PT session for all of us to see who is on the right track. Hope this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
They will not wash anybody out in shadow week but students have quit during shadow week. They consider every aspect of the candidate during the week and let them, and their mentor, know what needs to be improved on.
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08 Jan 2018 09:47 AM
not sure who his mentor is...i'll ask.  he's stationed in Virginia at a small boat station currently.  thanks for the feedback!

i read your response to another post i made about HS rating...i asked that question for a friend.  her daughter is at cape may now and wanting to go HS when she's able.  this is her second child to join.  her son graduated in november and is now stationed in oregon - rogue river.  good stuff!  hoping my other children follow their older brother's lead.
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08 Jan 2018 01:13 PM
I was stationed at the air station in North Bend, OR. Rogue River is going to give him a run for his money. That is a great station for action and a great area if you love outdoor activities. Let me know if you have any other questions about AST stuff.
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