JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - The worst-case
scenario has the potential of becoming an overwhelming
reality for flight crews that fly in the Pacific area of
responsibility, March 26, 2015.
Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey
Ray and Tech. Sgt. Michael Garcia are Survival, Evade,
Resist and Escape specialists for the 15th Operational
Support Squadron. Their job is to ensure that all flight
crews assigned to the 15th Wing are prepared to handle
emergency situations by conducting refresher SERE training.
(Left) Capt. Matt Savage, a pilot for the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, and Senior Airman Kenneth Stricker, a boom operator for the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, wait for their other two team members to return during a combat survival training on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, March 26, 2015. This training simulates the aircrew going down in a hostile environment. The aircrew uses teamwork to conceal their location, evade opposition forces and practice proper recovery procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich)
However, with Garcia on deployment, it is up to Ray to
complete the SERE training for the 15th Wing.
According to Ray, training is conducted 12 months a year,
including six unit-training assembly weekends for the
National Guard and Reserve units. Every month he teaches the
Code of Conduct training that includes, water survival,
emergency parachute, conduct after capture, contingency SERE
indoctrination, combat survival training, local area
survival and radio familiarization training.
that, because of Hawaii's geographic location and the
Pacific Command's area of responsibility, the water survival
training is one of the more import types of training.
"No matter where the aircrews are flying, they are over
water at some point," said Ray. "If an aircraft were to go
down in the ocean, it could be difficult for the recovery
force to locate the crew. That is why it is important they
know how to use their emergency equipment properly and know
how to stay alive long enough for a personnel recovery team
to find them."
According to Ray, equally important is
the combat survival training. This training simulates the
aircrew going down in a hostile environment. The aircrew
uses teamwork to conceal their location, evade opposition
forces and practice proper recovery procedures.
"[Combat survival training] is very beneficial," said Maj.
Dan Allen, a pilot evaluator for the 96th Air Refueling
Squadron. "It gives us the opportunity to practice survival
skills that we don't use a lot, like using the equipment,
how to navigate, conceal, evade and how to get rescued."
All of the training provided by Ray is to ensure one
"We want to ensure all aircrew and high risk
personnel are prepared to survive, evade, resist and escape
in every scenario worldwide and return with honor," said
More photos available below
By U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich
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