Training Liberty Airmen to survive, evade, resist and escape in any environment so that they can return home with honor, is what 48th Operations Support Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialists live for.
SERE specialists train Airmen on an array of skills needed for survival. The program contains a dozen training courses to include; Local Area Survival, Conduct After Capture, Combat Survival Training, Water Survival Training and Emergency Parachute Training.
“We put aircrew in an environment that’s new, and we force them to adapt,” said Staff Sgt. Derreck Day, the 48th OSS SERE Training NCOIC. “If they ever find themselves in these situations they’ll have the muscle memory and the tools available to overcome challenges they may be faced with.”
A combined effort of the 48th Fighter Wing, 100th Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wing SERE teams ensure that USAFE aircrews receive the best training possible in the U.K., and provide Airmen with a plethora of resources to draw knowledge from.
“Having three wings within such a close proximity is great for the SERE program,” said Tech. Sgt. Derek Owens, the 48th OSS SERE Group Operations NCOIC. “They all have their own SERE team, and we can come together to provide great training with far more capabilities with the assets provided by each wing.”
Pilots and other aircrew are required to receive refresher training on these skills every three years.
“SERE training helps aircrew survivability by teaching us some of the basics on how to survive in a multitude of environments if we have to eject out of our aircraft,” said Lt. Col. William Wooten, 492nd Fighter Squadron commander. “They teach us how to handle situations and the postures we need to assume if we are captured by the enemy, focusing on always trying to get home. The training SERE specialists give us is extremely realistic and they are constantly analyzing and updating their teaching methods based on real-world incidents. These professionals make it their mission to make sure that we come home to our family with honor and dignity.”
Since World War II, pilots and other aircrew have undergone SERE training for a survival mindset at home and abroad. The training taught in current times has been refined with years of experience and lessons learned poured into it.
“The SERE program here has been going on for a long time, so we’ve had time to improve,” said Owens. “We stay in tune with all of the tactics, technique and procedures that the bad guys are trying to employ on us, and we tailor our training so we can continue to give them the latest and greatest skills they need to survive, evade, resist and escape.”
NORFOLK, UNITED KINGDOM
Story by Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield
Story extracted from DVIDS