united states coast guard

R 111614Z MAR 21

ACN 027/21
SSIC 11000
A. Tower Manual, COMDTINST M11000.4A
B. Aids to Navigation Structure Climber Personnel Qualification
Standard (PQS) Manual, COMDTINST M16500.14 (series)
C. Fall Protection Program Tactics, Techniques, and
Procedures (TTP), CGTTP 4-11.15
1. The purpose of this ACN is to maintain tower climber
qualification requirements as an update to REF (A).
2. COMDT (CG-43) is engaging FORCECOM for long-term
program support and training sustainment of Coast
Guard (CG) tower climbing qualification requirements.
As interim guidance, the current qualification
requirements have been updated to reduce fall mishap
risk and resolve issues with qualifications of personnel
who transfer between geographic regions.
3. Civil Engineering Unit (CEU) Miami, as the Strategic
Operations Product Line (SOPL), has the authority to
administer the Tower Climber Certification program
CG-wide. The Aids to Navigation (ATON) Structure Climber
(ASC) program is administered by the COMDT (CG-NAV-1)
ATON Program Manager. This ACN applies to CG personnel
climbing any permanent, CG Owned or Leased structure
that is taller than 20 feet, energized or non-energized,
guyed or free-standing, and requires an “in-house” or CG
rescuer. This ACN does not apply to ASCs or to climbers
who rely on municipal emergency services for rescues.
ASCs shall follow the standards in REF (B). Any questions
regarding ASCs shall be directed to the COMDT (CG-NAV-1)
ATON Program Manager. Climbers with municipal emergency
rescue shall comply with all requirements of REF (C).
This ACN does not apply to CG members who are climbing
structures on cutters.
4. New Tower Climbers.
    a. New tower climbers must attend or coordinate onsite
training from a SOPL-approved commercial tower climbing
training course. Regional CEUs do not provide tower climber
training. The courses listed on the SOPL C4IT Asset Line
page on the CGPortal have been approved to meet qualification
requirements to obtain authorized or competent tower climber
and rescuer certifications in accordance with the following
industry standards:
        i. American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Standard Z359.2 - Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive
Managed Fall Protection Program;
        ii. American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Z490.1-2016 Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety;
        iii. American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Z359.1-2016 The Fall Protection Code - Part of the Fall
Protection Code; and
        iv. National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE)
Tower Climber Fall Protection Training Standard (NATE CTS).
    b. Alternate courses providing equivalent training may
also be authorized. Members should follow the process outlined
on the SOPL CGPortal page identified in paragraph (10) below
to request approval for alternate courses. The SOPL Manager/CEU
Miami Commanding Officer are the approving authorities for
alternate courses.
    c. Attendance at any commercial tower climber
course shall be unit funded. Tower climbing courses
are considered equivalent to class “C” schools and
shall not be classified as a conference.
5. Tower Climber Certification. Upon completion of an
approved commercial training course, personnel must
send their completion certificate and memorandum to
the members of the SOPL C4IT Asset Line. A memo template
is provided on the portal site. The CEU Miami Commanding
Officer will sign the memorandum, issuing that member
a tower climber designation letter, with the TOWERCL
competency code, making them authorized to climb all
non-ATON CG towers at any height in any geographic region.
6. Fall Protection Plan (FPP). Each unit should have
their own FPP IAW REF (C). After members receive a
signed memorandum from CEU Miami, units should designate
these members according to their FPP and ensure that
they are meeting recertification requirements according
to industry standards.
7. Climbing Gear. Each unit is responsible for procuring
climbing gear for members qualified and designated as CG
tower climbers using unit funds. Climbing gear shall be
inspected and/or replaced in accordance with industry
8. Recurring Training. CG personnel designated as qualified
CG tower climbers must perform and document all climbs and/or
training to meet industry standards for recertification.
Members are responsible for knowing and abiding by industry
standards to maintain their certification. Tower climbing
certification expires in accordance with industry standards.
Current industry standards require recertification after two
years. Due to safety concerns and high risk factors associated
with tower climbing, all members, regardless of their current
status or certifications, will be required to follow the
timeline for recertification of 2 years.
9. CG personnel holding competency code TOWERTR are not authorized
to train CG personnel on tower climbing procedures.
10. Link to SOPL C4IT Asset Line CGPortal page:
11. These changes will be implemented into the next revision
of REF (A), which will be released within the next year.
12. This message will be cancelled on 11 MAR 2022.
13. POC: CDR Gregory McLamb, Strategic Operations Product Line,
at or (305) 278-6714.
14. Released by RDML N. A. Moore, Assistant Commandant for
Engineering and Logistics (CG-4).
15. Internet release is authorized.