Combat Survival Training is established to
provide aircrews and other designated personnel procedures and
techniques in the use of equipment and employment of survival
Graduates of the U.S. Air Force Survival School at Fairchild Air Force
base in Washington internalize the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and
Escape (SERE) motto of “Return with Honor.” They spend weeks learning
how to survive outdoors under any circumstances and to come home
honorably. About 6,500 students go through the seven SERE courses each
year. Five courses are held at Fairchild, and the other two are taught
in Pensacola, Florida at the Naval Air Station and at Eielson Air Force
Base in Alaska.
The majority of trainees at the USAF SERE School are Air
Force aircrew members - pilots, navigators, flight engineers,
loadmasters, boom operators, gunners, and other crew positions.
Additionally, some intelligence officers and life support technicians
may also attend. This school was created during the Vietnam War to
prepare Air Force crews that were flying combat missions over Vietnam.
As captured American aircrews became Prisoners of War (POWs), the school
was created to provide crews the skills needed to survive and
potentially escape enemy capture in North Vietnam.
Training Group oversees instruction at the U.S. Air Force SERE. All
Air Force aircrew members must attend combat Survival Training, taught
by the 22nd Training Squadron. Each course takes 19 days to complete,
and 49 classes are taught each year. Students rise early in the morning,
and spend many hours without sleep. They endure extremely hot and
extremely cold temperatures to become SERE specialists.
Students spend six days in the Colville and Kaniksku National Forests
mountains, while the rest of the course is conducted at Fairchild.
Students first learn how to handle the psychological and physical stress
of survival, after which they learn post-ejection procedures and how to
handle parachute landings. They are also instructed in survival
medicine. Shelter construction, gathering and cooking food, land
navigation methods, evasion and camouflage, signaling and aircraft
vectoring are all taught during students’ six-day stay in the mountains.
After their stint outside, students return to Fairchild and learn about
how to behave if they are captured.
Future instructors at SERE are taught by the 66th Training Squadron at
Fairchild. This program lasts five and half months. It teaches students
how to train aircrew members to survive no matter where they land. They
learn several skills, including basic survival, navigation, arctic
survival, how to teach, evasion, desert survival, rough land evacuation,
tropics/river survival and coastal survival. Instruction in survival in
different environments takes place in different areas of Washington,
including the Calispell Mountain near Cusic; George, Washington; Tum-Tum;
Oympic National Park; and Tillamook Bay, which is off the coast of
Another course taught at Fairchild’s SERE is non-ejection water
survival. This teaches aircrew members how to survive if they are in in
aircraft without parachutes. This course takes two days to complete.
Students learn how to signal rescue aircraft, about dangerous water
animals, how to find food and drinkable water, the physical components
of water survival and how to use a life raft properly.
you prepare for USAF Survival School?
You won't find too much concrete information or gouge on what to expect
at SERE. This is designed so that you (the trainee) can actually
benefit from the training. The school is designed to be as
realistic as possible and part of the realism is based on surprise and
the unpredictable stress you will experience.
What you can
do is make sure you are in shape. Make sure you are fit and
healthy and able to do well on the AF PFT. You will be hiking many
miles a day with a heavy pack on your back while trying to evade capture
- so make sure you are ready to do that. Make sure your gear is
fitted properly and your boots are broken in prior to the first day in
the bush. Pack plenty of good quality wool socks.
example of combat gear we recommend, check out our
Afghanistan Gear List, which
includes examples of cold weather tactical gear.
Training Squadron teaches the five-day resistance training
orientation course. Students include U.S. Air Force SERE instructors and
some Department of Defense personnel. The course includes instruction on
the principles and theories to conduct Level C Code of Conduct
resistance training laboratory instruction. Level C refers to military
personnel who have a high risk of capture due to their ranks or
seniority. This course focuses on resistance in prisoner of war camps.
To receive upgrade to the 5 survival skill level, students must complete
The 19-day, skill level 7 upgrade course for SERE training instructors
occurs each year. It includes advanced survival instruction in the open
ocean, barren arctic, barren desert and jungle. Training occurs in
Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, and Florida. Three to four days is spent in
each location. Instructors learn to survive with little in the way of
equipment, supplies and support.
The five-day Arctic Survival Training course is taught by
Detachment 1 of the 66th Training Squadron at the Eielson Air Force Base
in Alaska. Training occurs October through March. It was created for
aircrews that fly in northern areas. Students learn to procure food and
water, build fires, to signal and to build thermal shelters. Cold
weather survival is the focus of this course.
The 66th Training Squadron, Detachment 2 at the Naval Air Station
in Pensacola, Florida teaches a water survival course. The course takes
four days to complete. Students simulate an over-the-water emergency
that occurs in-flight. Parachute equipment procedures, drag training,
after exit procedures and recovery training. Recovery training involves
a landing over deep water and learning to use a raft.
Other activities of the SERE program include training Air Force Academy
cadets and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets. About 2,200
Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets and 1,200 Air Force
Academy cadets are trained each summer. SERE instructors also teach
civilian organizations, such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, schools and the
Civil Air Patrol.
with Velcro Patch
Under Armour Tactical
Survival School Video
US Air Force Special Ops Finally a book on everything about PJ's and CCT from their extensive
training, the pipeline, to future mission profiles. Better, more
in-depth info than I have ever found on the net. But this is just half
of this book. If your looking for info about the planes, helos, jets and
their capabilities this is the book you're looking for
I have read every book on Air Force Special Ops, and by
far this is the most current and illustrative. While the photos may be
staged, considering the secret nature of Special Ops, real-time photos
may not even exist, let alone be de-classified: they are very
illustrative of many aspects of operations. There are so many books
about SEALS, Special Forces, Rangers, etc. and AF SpecOps is so
overlooked, it is about time they get some equal time. This book is the
best I have seen, to date.
Others May Live
That Others May Live is the story of one of America's most elite
military units. The PJs--pararescue jumpers--are to the air force what
the Green Berets are to the army and the SEALs are to the navy, even
though they are less well known. There are only about 300 of them, and
their main function is to rescue downed pilots, often behind enemy
lines. They also perform civilian rescues. "There are no more capable
rescuers than the PJs," writes Jack Brehm, a 20-year PJ veteran who
penned this book with journalist Pete Nelson. "No one else knows how to
fall five miles from the sky to rescue somebody. No one else trains to
make rescues in such a wide variety of circumstances and conditions on a
mountaintop, in the middle of the Sahara, or 1,000 miles out from shore
in hurricane-tossed seas." Some readers will recall the PJs' minor role
in Sebastian Junger's harrowing bookThe Perfect Storm; Brehm actually
coordinated that PJ operation, and he tells his side of the story on