Airmen splash into survival training

Airmen splash into survival training

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to Royal Air Force Lakenheath survive the heavy simulated wind, rain and waves on a 20-man life raft during a Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. This “perfect storm” scenario gives trainees the opportunity to experience the extreme conditions one might endure out on the open ocean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Airmen splash into survival training

Senior Airman Ryan Lake, 48th Munitions Squadron armament maintenance team member, attempts to release his harness during a simulated canopy drag during a survival, evasion, resistance and escape Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. SERE personnel from Royal Air Force Lakenheath and Royal Air Force Mildenhall gave Airmen from across the 48th Fighter Wing the chance to learn through the lifelike scenarios flight personnel must navigate to ensure their survival after an over-ocean crash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Airmen splash into survival training

Tech. Sgt. Derek Owens, 48th Operations Support Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Shop NCO in-charge, demonstrates proper life-vest usage during a Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. SERE personnel from Royal Air Force Lakenheath and Royal Air Force Mildenhall gave Airmen from across the 48th Fighter Wing the chance to learn through the lifelike scenarios flight personnel must navigate to ensure their survival after an over-ocean crash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Airmen splash into survival training

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to Royal Air Force Lakenheath survive the heavy simulated wind, rain and waves on a 20-man life raft during a Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. This “perfect storm” scenario gives trainees the opportunity to experience the extreme conditions one might endure out on the open ocean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Airmen splash into survival training

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to Royal Air Force Lakenheath practices mounting one-man life rafts during a Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. The participants also learned how to mount a 20-man life raft and how to use several different types of survival gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Airmen splash into survival training

Staff Sgt. Chukwudi Ekeh, 48th Security Forces Squadron response force leader, holds on to a rescue harness during a Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. During the course, Airmen from across the 48th Fighter wing had the opportuning to experience a portion of the SERE training aircrew must complete every three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Airmen splash into survival training

Staff Sgt. Derreck Day, 48th Operations Support Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist, demonstrates proper life-vest usage during a Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. SERE personnel from both Royal Air Force Lakenheath and Royal Air Force Mildenhall gave Airmen from across the 48th Fighter Wing the chance to learn on the lifelike scenarios flight personnel must navigate to ensure their survival after an over-ocean crash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Airmen splash into survival training

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to Royal Air Force Lakenheath practice mounting one-man life rafts during a Water Survival Course at East Coast College, Lowestoft, England, May 4, 2018. The participants also learned how to mount a 20-man life raft and how to use several different types of survival gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

LOWESTOFT, England --

Non-aircrew personnel assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing conquered the survival, evasion, resistance and escape Water Survival Course at East Coast College, May 4, 2018.

Through tumultuous wind and rain on a simulated sea, 18 Airmen pulled together to survive a realistic aircraft crash training scenario. The training, typically reserved for aircrew, provided the Airmen a glimpse into scenarios flight personnel must be able to navigate to ensure survival.

“We all play our part to support the warfighter,” said Tech. Sgt. Derek Owens, 48th Operations Support Squadron SERE NCO in-charge. “Today Airmen across the wing had an opportunity to experience a portion on how 48th Operations Group provides some of that support by receiving the same water survival training that SERE provides our aircrew.”

During the height of the course, the trainees faced the “perfect storm” scenario where their life rafts faced simulated 30-knot roaring winds, overwhelming rain, and four- to six-foot waves in pitch-black conditions.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it was awesome,” said Staff Sgt. Gaebriel Diaz, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance technician. “I recommend everyone experience it at least once. It can even help you in day-to-day situations like if your commercial plane goes down. This training could help you survive.”

The participants also learned how to escape being trapped under a canopy, release their harness while being dragged by the wind, mount their one- and 20-man life rafts, and use several different types of survival gear.

“We are just trying to teach them different tactics, techniques and procedures that we teach to our aircrew to plan for the worst case scenario,” said Staff Sgt. Derreck Day, 48th OSS SERE specialist. “If for some reason aircrew have to punch out and are exposed to this type of environment, then they need to be able to survive if not thrive and return with honor.”

To maintain their certification, aircrew must pass Water Survival Training every three years. The SERE technicians host the course 12 times a year and are hoping to hold classes for non-aircrew members two or three times a year, according to Day.