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Michigan Airmen Train to Survive in Hostile Environments

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Andrew Schumann,
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. - Aircrew from the 127th Wing sharpened their skills to survive should they ever be forced to leave their aircraft in a hostile environment.

Pilots from the 107th Fighter Squadron participated in survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE) refresher training during the 127th Wing’s October drill weekend. 

“SERE training is tailored toward high-risk-of-isolation personnel, training them to survive through conflict and contingency operations, allowing them to return home with honor,” said Tech. Sgt. Alex Ribbens, a survival, evasion, resistance and escape air adviser assigned to the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst, New Jersey. 

Ribbens provided the training over two days at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

The refresher training covered conduct after capture, combat survival techniques, and water survival. 

“The training we accomplished this weekend was geared toward refreshing the skills these pilots learned during their initial Code of Conduct training, as well as making sure the pilots are trained on the current tactics, techniques, procedures and equipment,” Ribbens said.

During the first day of training, Selfridge pilots were instructed on conduct after capture before heading into the field for station training on aircrew flight equipment, tactics for surviving hostile environments, and evading the enemy.

Members of the 127th Operational Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment office facilitated training stations, allowing pilots to demonstrate tactics, such as proper landing posture following an ejection, and releasing from parachutes.

“The importance of hands-on training is so that the pilots are able to operate all of their lifesaving equipment should they ever have to eject from the aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. Jasmine Schaffer, 127th Operational Support Squadron. 

On the second training day, pilots practiced water survival techniques in a high school swimming pool. Scenarios included parachute dragging in the water, escaping from under the parachute canopy, and deploying emergency equipment, such as life rafts. 

“We do this refresher training so that aircrews are capable and confident in their equipment and skills, should they have to eject or crash land,” Ribbens said. “The isolated person is typically the weakest link in the recovery chain, and by doing this training, we make them stronger and improve their survivability, and give them awareness of recovery procedures from the rescuer’s perspective.”