Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City is a United States Coast Guard Air Station co-located at Elizabeth City Regional Airport in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, along the Pasquotank River near the opening of the Albemarle Sound. It is the second largest Coast Guard aviation base[1] with a population of about 855 Military personal. The Coast Guard air station is also one of the busiest in the U.S. Coast Guard, operating missions as far away as Greenland, the Azores and the Caribbean.[2]

Coordinates: 36°15′27″N 76°11′00″W / 36.25750°N 76.18333°W

Air Station Elizabeth City
CGAS Elizabeth City unit insignia
Unit Patch CGAS Elizabeth City
ActiveAugust 1940 -present
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
TypeAir Station
RoleSearch and rescue, maritime patrol
Aircraft flown
HelicopterMH-60T Jayhawk
PatrolHC-130J Hercules

Operations and Missions

CGAS Elisabeth City floatplanes 1942
Floatplanes at CGAS Elizabeth City in March 1942.

Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Elizabeth City is located on the campus of the Coast Guard's Base Elizabeth City. and is one of several commands located on the Coast Guard's premier Base Elizabeth City. In addition, the Base Elizabeth City complex houses the Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC) (a headquarters level command which trains enlisted Coast Guardsmen in aviation ratings in "A" Schools and advanced "C" Schools), the Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) and Station Elizabeth City, the small boat search and rescue station. Base Elizabeth City also provides military healthcare including sick call, physicals, and dental at the on-board clinic, as well as emergency services with a staffed 24 hours a day Fire and Police Department (ambulance service is provided by local EMS).

The missions of CGAS Elizabeth City include search and rescue (SAR), Maritime Law enforcement, International Ice Patrol, aids to navigation support (such as operating lighthouses), and marine environmental protection (such as responding to oil spills).[2]

Currently, CGAS Elizabeth City maintains and operates five HC-130J Hercules aircraft and four MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters.


Hercules - RIAT 2005 (2425500498)
A Lockheed HC-130J of CGAS Elizabeth City on approach

CGAS Elizabeth City was commissioned on August 15, 1940, with four officers, 52 enlisted men and ten aircraft including three Hall PH-2 seaplanes, four Fairchild J2K landplanes, and three Grumman J2F Duck amphibious aircraft. It is located sixty miles north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, north of Albemarle Sound and along the East Coast's northern most ice-free river. Bayside Plantation, owned by the Hollowell family, near Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was selected by the United States Coast Guard in 1938 for its potential strategic value as a seaplane base.

During World War II, the air station was under United States Navy control conducting Search and Rescue (SAR), Anti-submarine warfare, and training missions in tandem with Naval Air Station Weeksville, a lighter-than-air airship facility approximately two miles to the southeast that was in operation from 1941 to 1957.[3][4]

Since then, the AIRSTA Elizabeth City's missions and assigned aircraft have shifted and grown with changing national priorities and technologies. In 1966 Air Station Elizabeth City expanded after absorbing the coast guard air stations at Kindley AFB, Bermuda and NAS Argentia, Newfoundland.[5]

Popular Culture

Air Station Elizabeth City was the setting (and used as a double for Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska) in the 2006 film The Guardian. Base personnel were instrumental in providing the infrastructure and support necessary to the filming of the motion picture.

In 2018, the Air Station provided a helicopter and flight crew to assist in the filming of the reboot Jack Ryan series on Amazon Prime, with two members having speaking rolls in the pilot episode as the crew is assigned to pick up the main character during a dinner party in Washington, DC.

Geographic location

Support Center Elizabeth City is located at 36°15′38″N 76°10′29″W / 36.26056°N 76.17472°W.[6]

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2013-07-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b "Air Station Elizabeth City, NC: Operations and Missions". United States Coast Guard web site. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
  3. ^ Price, Jay (March 25, 2018). "North Carolina Town Accepts, Then Spurns Russian Gift". Weekend Edition Sunday. NPR. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ Price, Mark (February 28, 2018). "Small NC town tells Russia it won't play host to 25-ton Russian war monument". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  5. ^ CGAS Elizabeth City History Archived 2005-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ CGAS Elizabeth City Info, Archived 2007-03-25 at the Wayback Machine

External links

Media related to CGAS Elizabeth City at Wikimedia Commons

Aviation Survival Technician

Aviation Survival Technician(AST) is a rating or job specialty in the United States Coast Guard. Rescue swimmer is the collateral duty or aircrew position of the AST. They are trained at the U.S. Coast Guard's enlisted Aviation Survival Technician/Rescue Swimmer school at Coast Guard Aviation Technical Training Center, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The challenging job is featured prominently in the 2006 film The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher.

Chester R. Bender

Chester R. Bender (March 14, 1914 – July 20, 1996) served as the fourteenth Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 1970 to 1974. He also served as Superintendent of the United States Coast Guard Academy from 1965 to 1967.

Commodore Levy Chapel

The Commodore Levy Chapel, established in 1942 and renamed in 1959 in honor of Uriah P. Levy, is the United States Navy's oldest Jewish chapel, located at Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia. It is part of a chapel complex in the Naval Station's Frazier Hall that also includes Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim Chapels.

Commodore Levy Chapel is one of two Navy chapels named for the same person, the other located being the Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center and Chapel, at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Daniel C. Burbank

Daniel Christopher Burbank (born July 27, 1961) is a retired American astronaut and a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions. Burbank, a Captain in the United States Coast Guard, is the second Coast Guard astronaut after Bruce Melnick.

Burbank was born in Manchester, Connecticut, and raised in Tolland, Connecticut, where he graduated from Tolland High School. He attended Fairfield University his freshman year before transferring to the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he earned his commission in 1985. In 1987, he went through flight training and became an instructor pilot, serving at various Coast Guard stations at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, and Coast Guard Air Station Sitka.

Burbank is listed as a member of the astronaut band "Max Q", and a former member of The Idlers.

He has a master's degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

He is a licensed amateur radio operator (ham) with Technician License KC5ZSX.

Married to Rosalin Bowman.

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Elizabeth City is a city in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, in the United States. As of the 2014 census, it had a population of 18,047. Elizabeth City is the county seat and largest city of Pasquotank County. It is the cultural, economic and educational hub of the sixteen-county Historic Albemarle region of northeastern North Carolina.Elizabeth City is the center of the Elizabeth City Micropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of 64,094 as of 2010, and is part of the larger Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC Combined Statistical Area. The city is the economic center of the region, as well as home to many historic sites and cultural traditions.

Marketed as the "Harbor of Hospitality", Elizabeth City has had a long history of shipping due to its location at a narrowed bend of the Pasquotank River. Founded in 1794, Elizabeth City prospered early on from the Dismal Swamp Canal as a mercantile city, before later shifting into a varied industrial and commercial focus. While Elizabeth City still retains its extensive waterfront property, it is linked to neighboring counties and cities by highways and bridges and serves as the site of the largest US Coast Guard base in the nation.

Elizabeth City Regional Airport

Elizabeth City Regional Airport (IATA: ECG, ICAO: KECG, FAA LID: ECG) is a joint civil-military public and military use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) southeast of the central business district of Elizabeth City, in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, United States. The airport, on the shore of the Pasquotank River, is also known as Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Regional Airport or ECG Regional Airport. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.The airport opened in 1972 and is shared with and owned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The military portion of the facility, known as Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City and Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, operates HC-130J Hercules and MH-60T Jayhawk aircraft.

Grumman HU-16 Albatross

The Grumman HU-16 Albatross is a large twin–radial engine amphibious flying boat that was used by the United States Air Force (USAF), the U.S. Navy (USN) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), primarily as a search and rescue aircraft. Originally designated as the SA-16 for the USAF and the JR2F-1 and UF-1 for the USN and USCG, it was redesignated as the HU-16 in 1962.

HMS Bounty

HMS Bounty, also known as HM Armed Vessel Bounty, was a small merchant vessel that the Royal Navy purchased for a botanical mission. The ship was sent to the Pacific Ocean under the command of William Bligh to acquire breadfruit plants and transport them to British possessions in the West Indies. That mission was never completed due to a mutiny led by acting lieutenant Fletcher Christian. This incident is now popularly known as the mutiny on the Bounty. The mutineers later burned Bounty while she was moored at Pitcairn Island. An American adventurer rediscovered the remains of the Bounty in 1957; various parts of it have been salvaged since then.

Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity

The Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity facility, owned by the Department of Defense, is located on a peninsula in Perquimans County, North Carolina, along the Albemarle Sound, near the city of Hertford, NC. It was established in World War II as Naval Auxiliary Air Station Harvey Point, an operating base for sea planes conducting anti-submarine surveillance off the Atlantic coast. A close-by naval facility, Naval Air Station Weeksville, served as a blimp base from 1941 to 1957, while another former naval air facility remains active as Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

To comply with various procurement regulations, the Department of the Navy holds the title to and budgetary responsibility for the facility. Agencies such as the ATF, CIA, and FBI have used the facility for complex training relating to overseas counterterrorism and asset-protection training. It has a sister facility in Virginia called Camp Peary.

Naming of military air bases

Most countries with military aviation forces have a system for naming of military airbases. "Air Force Base" ("AFB") is part of the name of military airbases of the United States Air Force (USAF) and the South African Air Force (SAAF), with the USAF using it at the end of the name of the base (e.g. "Dover AFB"), and the SAAF using it at the start (e.g. "AFB Hoedspruit"). The Royal Australian Air Force uses a slightly different format referring to bases as "RAAF Base" (Royal Australian Air Force Base). The Canadian Forces also uses a different format referring to any base as "CFB" (Canadian Forces Base) or "BFC" in French (Base des Forces Canadiennes).

Naval Station Argentia

Naval Station Argentia (IATA: NWP) is a former base of the United States Navy that operated from 1941 to 1994. It was established in the community of Argentia in what was then the Dominion of Newfoundland, which later became the tenth Canadian province, Newfoundland and Labrador.

North Carolina Highway 344

North Carolina Highway 344 (NC 344) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It serves to connect Elizabeth City with communities in southern Pasquotank County.

North Carolina Potato Festival

North Carolina Potato Festival is an annual tradition in Northeastern North Carolina that celebrates one of the region's most important crops. Originally known as the Albemarle Potato Festival, which ran from 1940 through 1970, the once-prominent event was revived in 2001 as the North Carolina Potato Festival.

Celebrated annually around mid-May, the festival has returned to its historical prominence as one of the largest regional draws in northeastern North Carolina. Taking place in historic downtown Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the event features the National Potato Peeling Contest, Little Miss Tater Tot pageant, potato sack races, a 5K Fun Run and live culinary competitions featuring area chefs. Also present are live bands from throughout the region, aerial fly-overs courtesy of the nearby Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City as well as a range of unique vendors.

In addition, the festival usually coincides with the annual Moth Boat Regatta, a race featuring the now-popular class of small sailboats first developed in 1929 by an Elizabeth City resident, Joel van Sant.

Oliver F. Berry

Oliver Fuller Berry (March 8, 1908 - September 13, 1991) was a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard who was chosen to be the namesake for the twenty-fourth cutter of the Sentinel class. He was one the first Coast Guard aircraft technicians trained to work on helicopters.

Sidney A. Wallace

Sidney A. Wallace is a former rear admiral in the United States Coast Guard.

Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawk

The Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk is a multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter operated by the United States Coast Guard for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions. Originally designated HH-60J before being upgraded and redesignated beginning in 2007, the MH-60T is designed to fly a crew of four up to 300 mi (483 km) offshore, hoist up to six additional people on board while remaining on-scene for up to 45 minutes and return to base while maintaining an adequate fuel reserve. Normal cruising speed of the MH-60T is 135 to 140 kn (155 to 161 mph) and the aircraft is capable of reaching 180 kn (207 mph) for short durations. The MH-60T can fly at 140 kn (161 mph) for six to seven hours.Chosen to replace the HH-3F Pelican, the MH-60T is a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family of helicopters and is based on the United States Navy's SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. Development began in September 1986, first flight was achieved on 8 August 1989, and the first HH-60J entered USCG service in June 1990. Production ended in 1996 after 42 helicopters were produced; three retired SH-60F Seahawks were also remanufactured to MH-60T specifications beginning in 2010. A total of 42 MH-60Ts are in service with the Coast Guard.

United States Coast Guard Air Stations

A Coast Guard Air Station provides aviation support for the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard operates approximately 210 aircraft from 24 Coast Guard Air Stations in the United States. Fixed-wing aircraft, such as the HC 130 Hercules, are built for long range missions and operate from air stations. The HH-65 Dolphin and Sikorsky HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters also operate from Air Stations, Air Facilities and flight deck equipped cutters.

United States special operations forces

United States special operations forces (SOF) are components of the Department of Defense's United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

The U.S. military definition of Special Operations Forces according to the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms is "Those Active and Reserve Component forces of the Military Services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called SOF". The definition in the DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms references Joint Publication 3-05.1 – Joint Special Operations Task Force Operations (JP 3-05.1) as its source.

Weeksville Dirigible Hangar

The Weeksville Dirigible Hangar (former NAS Weeksville) is an airship manufacturing, storage and test facility originally built by the US Navy in 1941 for servicing airships conducting anti-submarine patrols of the US coast and harbors. It is located on the former Naval Air Station Weeksville in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, approximately 2 miles southeast of the present day Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

Department of Defense
Air Force
Coast Guard


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