Rotary Club of Savannah Military Salute: Lieutenant Ian Erickson, United States Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Ian Erickson is a Minnesota native, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Upon graduation, he took a non-traditional route into the Coast Guard, by, first, receiving a commission, based on his university studies and prior experience, and then attending the Coast Guard’s Direct Commissioned Officer Course.

From there, in July, 2014, Lieutenant Erickson reported to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, where he worked on a critically important acquisition project, aimed at the recapitalization of the Coast Guard’s aging surface fleet.

Following that mission, LT Erickson went directly to Naval Flight training, earning his Wings of Gold in June of 2017.  And his very first Air Station assignment was right here in Savannah at Hunter Army Airfield.

First and foremost a Coast Guard helicopter pilot, but as very often happens with officers having appropriate skills and abilities, the Lieutenant was given a secondary assignment as Air Station Public Affairs Officer.

And in this role, recall a secondary one, on top of his flying duties, he has excelled, using greatly-expanded Social Media to promote, nationally, our Air Station’s well-earned and deserved reputation for operational excellence, and increasing site “followers” by over 200% in very short order.

Following the outstanding “Golden Ray” rescues, achieved down near Brunswick, by the courageous Coast Guard personnel stationed right here at Air Station Savannah, LT Erickson shifted into exterior Public Affairs mode, providing and preserving the on-scene rescue stills and video, for distribution to both governmental and non-governmental agencies, alike.  Here at the Air Station, he has also produced staff videos, along with arranging numerous facility tours, and static aircraft displays, for area students, elective-office staff members, veterans, and, importantly, for prospective Coast Guard recruits, as well.

Focusing on his primary assignment as a rescue pilot, LT Erickson volunteered to travel up to Michigan to fill a two-week personnel shortage, flying regional search and rescue missions for two-weeks. Something he didn’t have to do, but wanted to, so as to help his fellow Coast Guard aviators. On his first night, flying with a crew he’d just met, he safely recovered and medivac’d a severely injured iron-ore-freighter crew member to a Milwaukee hospital for treatment.

Here at home, LT Erickson has earned First Pilot and Advanced Search & Rescue designations, and is currently working toward Aircraft Commander status.  To date, he’s flown 41 Search & Rescue missions, saving 5 lives, and assisting 11 others.  He has compiled 800-hours of Coast Guard flight time.

LT Erickson lives with his wife, a dog, and 5 chickens, the latter presumably not in the house.  You do need to know that all, repeat, all of those mentioned we’re told do have names, including his dear wife, who we’re pretty sure, does live in the house.

Another outstanding United States military member, proudly serving our nation, Coast Guard Lieutenant Ian Erickson……. (3-2-20)