Edwards AFB Airmen train to survive in the wild > Edwards Air Force Base > News
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. —
For the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Specialists stationed at Edwards, they are not only trained to survive in austere conditions, but they train crew members to do the same. . In a course called Initial Survival Training (IST), military and civilian aircrew members undergo three and a half days of intense, fast-paced training that puts their survival skills to the test in the event of an emergency by flight.
“What we’re doing is giving them what they need to survive if they get into an in-flight emergency, an accident, whatever it is,” Master Sgt. Sean Kostelecky, 412 OSS SERE Specialist explained. “The training is obviously different because he’s here on the state side. They’re in the environment that they could potentially isolate themselves in. So we’re just going to go through the basics of what they have need to survive long enough for the recovery forces to get there and for them to assist the recovery forces in that process.”
All Edwards AFB aircrew must pass this training in order to fly. The message from the SERE monitors: Do the right thing.
I want to train everyone to have this,” said Staff Sergeant Marco Hernandez, 412 OSS SERE Specialist. “It’s good knowledge to have in circumstances you never want to be in. I feel good that they are learning.
Additionally, SERE Instructors teach assisting crew members the basic principles of survival which are signaling and recovery, medical protection, personal protection, sustenance and navigation.
“As an instructor, when you see your students and crew practicing the techniques and procedures you train them in, and they see concepts in reality, it’s instant gratification for me,” said Hernández.
Survival skills build crew confidence in the skies.
“To me, that’s important since we’re doing the test work, there’s always a chance when you’re flying that you could have a crash landing or something like that,” explained 1st Lt. Brennan Megeff, 418th FLTS . “So it helps me to feel better prepared in the event of a crash landing to be able to survive here and last long enough to be rescued.”
SERE also provides essential skills for students new to the outdoor experience. After all the training and the three-day survival test are said and done, most IST participants say the training is only part of what they get out of the experience.
“I’m learning how to make a fire that I’ve never made before,” said Britney Jaworski, of the 418th FLTS. “With these skills, I will be able to participate in more missions and test new and improved features in the future.”
The IST course normally takes place once a month during the period from May to October and can accommodate a maximum of ten students per class.