Lt. Cmdr. Brian Erickson is the C-130H Engineering Branch Chief at the Aviation Logistics Center.
Q: What inspired you to serve with the U.S. Coast Guard?
A: The C-130H Product Line Engineer position has been one of the most exciting jobs I have held. I am surrounded by artisans who have mastered their individual skill sets in the aerospace industry. From sheet metal to avionics, I have spent countless hours working with this great team of people who share the common goal of bringing capability to the long range surveillance (LRS) fleet.
One recent capability enhancement project that has required a wide spectrum of talent is the legacy aircraft night vision system (NVIS) cockpit upgrade. As a former helicopter pilot, I know firsthand the convincing benefits of night vision operations. When I became a part of the LRS team, I quickly recognized that low level night offshore C-130 operations were very risky. I knew that the frontline C-130 operator's safety and search and rescue/law enforcement capability could be enhanced by using night vision goggles, but we needed to get them a suitable aircraft first.
Working closely with our headquarters sponsor, we secured funds and prototyped an initial cockpit configuration. This configuration was successful at proving the benefits of NVIS operations and allowing the C-130H Standardization Team to fully develop the pilot syllabus. Aircraft modifications are ongoing which include NVIS capable pressurized windows, NVIS compatible cockpit paint, replacement avionics displays, specialized lighting and filters. I am proud of our teamwork and I know that our contributions will make execution of all Coast Guard missions easier and safer for our frontline C-130H operators.