Archive for the ‘SERE’ Category

Extrema Ratio – Survival Kit

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

I ran across this survival kit accesory in Extrema Ratio’s stand at IWA which attaches to the Selvans Ontos and Moros sheaths.

Contents include:
whistle, pocket chain saw, water purifying tabs, compass, copper wire, fireball flint and striker, LED micro light, 2.5 m lanyard, and sharpener

SOFWERX – Personnel Recovery Prototype Virtual Assessment Event

Friday, February 18th, 2022

SOFWERX, in collaboration with SOF Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L) Special Reconnaissance (PEO-SR) Program Management Technical Collection and Communications (PM TCC), will host a Virtual Assessment Event (AE) 05-07 April 2022 to identify technologies and techniques for a Personnel Recovery (PR) device for miniaturized and wearable capabilities.

The ideal prototype PR device should be able to function standalone without any local infrastructure (i.e.: no WIFI/Mesh networks/Cellular architectures, etc.), though there could be a version that relies on local infrastructure to provide alternate transport means.

Submit NLT 11 March 2022 11:59 PM ET

Visit for full details.

OR Snow Show 22 – LifeStraw

Friday, January 28th, 2022

LifeStraw has completely redesigned their flagship product the Peak series personal water filter.

They’ve re-engineered the filter to reduce clogging from sediment. In addition to being able to drink straight from a water source, it also features internal threads which will attach to a commercial, disposable water bottle. There’s also a built in gravity hose attachment point.

This sleeker design is also now available in two colors, Blue or Black.

There’s no shelf life. Once you start using it, it’s good for 1,000 gallons of water. The LifeStraw removes 99.999999% of bacteria (including E.coli, Salmonella), 99.999% of parasites (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium),99.999% of microplastics, dirt, sand and cloudiness

Coming in March.

SURVIVOR FILTER Introduces New Active All Terrain Filtration Bottle

Friday, January 14th, 2022

TORONTO – January 12, 2022 – America’s favorite bottle meets survival with the all new Survivor Filter Active All Terrain Filtration bottle. Through a partnership with Nalgene®, Survivor Filter was able to further improve on proven technology seen in its predecessor, the original Active bottle, to produce this lightweight, take it anywhere squeeze bottle built for both performance and convenience. The Active All Terrain bottle will soon be available for sale at and in store from Dunham’s Sports by Spring of this year.

“This is a really exciting new product, and we are thrilled to bring this bottle to market,” SURVIVOR FILTER Owner Mark Zakaib said. “Survivor Filter fans and customers know the original Active Bottle has been a huge hit and is one of our most popular options. We listened to everything they had to say about that bottle, took a hard look at basics and were able to deliver this new and improved design that seriously stands out from the crowd.”

The made in the USA, Active All Terrain filtration bottle has been independently tested in accredited labs to meet NSF 42 and 53 Water Drinking Standards that matches and exceeds most in-home filter systems. It removes 99.99999% of Bacteria, and 99.99% Parasites, lead, chlorine, VOC’s, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals to deliver safe, clean and odor free water use after use. The bottle is made from BPA-free Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) that leaves no aftertaste or intake of any leaching toxin, no transfer of taste or smell, and is virtually indestructible. Additionally, the packaging for the bottle is 100% recyclable and Made in the USA with 100% recycled materials and soy-based, biodegradable ink. MSRP $45.

The bottle comes with a neoprene, water repellent carrying case that delivers convenience and exceptional ease of use. The sturdy design features an integrated handle for easy squeezing and the slide in opening makes it easy to access the water bottle, while the pockets fits things like car keys or phones, up to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Each bottle comes with two strap sizes, a three-foot and seven-foot option to fit any user and support a variety of applications.

To learn more about the SURVIVOR FILTER™ Active All Terrain Filtration Bottle and purchase, please visit


Blast From The Past – “Shoot, A Fella Could Have A Pretty Good Weekend In Vegas With All That Stuff”

Sunday, November 14th, 2021

This never gets old. Is it wrong for me to miss the Cold War?

“Survival kit contents check. In them you’ll find:
– One forty-five caliber automatic
– Two boxes of ammunition
– Four days’ concentrated emergency rations
– One drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills
– One miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible
– One hundred dollars in rubles
– One hundred dollars in gold
– Nine packs of chewing gum
– One issue of prophylactics
– Three lipsticks
– Three pair of nylon stockings.

Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.”

Dover AFB Leads Joint, Interagency Survival Training

Friday, August 27th, 2021


Imagine being in a yellow life raft in the middle of the ocean after surviving an aircraft incident. There is an aircraft flying several hundred feet overhead. The best chance of being rescued lies in an ability to use the issued survival equipment to signal the position to the aircraft.

While this situation might seem far-fetched, it is a very real possibility for aircrew members flying out of Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

For this reason, members of the 436th Operational Support Squadron Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape flight partnered with the 3rd Airlift Squadron at Dover AFB, Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Coast Guard Station Indian River Inlet, Delaware, to train local search and rescue procedures during Exercise Castaway.

“The whole idea for Exercise Castaway started with a picture,” said Tech. Sgt. Derreck Day, 436th OSS SERE specialist. “I was conducting a water survival preparation course [that includes] a picture of a 46-man life raft, [where] at 4,000 feet is extremely difficult to spot. Looking at that photo, I thought ‘what is the probability of finding an individual, if not, a whole crew of people in a life raft out in the Atlantic Ocean.’”

The picture Day refers to is a photo taken from a C-17 Globemaster III at an altitude of about 4,000 feet. The raft is nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye. At that altitude, the raft appears to blend in with the ocean waves; an incredible challenge to anyone attempting to locate survivors in the open ocean.

“It’s a photo of the largest life raft we have in our inventory and in that photo you can’t even see the life raft,” Day said. “So looking at that situation, I thought to myself, ‘why not exercise this.’”

During Exercise Castaway, Day and four Airmen from the 436th OSS SERE flight were escorted 5 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean by Coast Guardsmen from Indian River Inlet.

“We got to Coast Guard Station Indian River and by the time we broke through the waves out of the inlet, about 4 and a half miles off shore, the 25 mile buoy was reading 5 foot seas and 17 knot winds,” Day said. “I’m very grateful that the Coast Guard was there to provide over watch in case of an emergency.”

Once in place, the SERE crew then prepared their signaling equipment including the combat survivor evader locator radio, sea dye, flare and life raft canopy. This marked the official start of Exercise Castaway.

Day explained their objective was to go through the issued survival equipment, use it, devise tactics, techniques and procedures, and to relay pertinent information to assist the aircrew in spotting them.

Two aircraft crews participated in the exercise: a C-17 from Dover AFB and a MH-65D Dolphin from CGAS Atlantic City. As the acting on-scene commander, the C-17 crew spotted the life raft and relayed location information to the MH-65D for simulated rescue and hoist practice.

“The scenario for the aircrew aboard the C-17 was for them to respond to a simulated downed aircraft call, provide a search pattern, exercise their on-scene commander checklist and take photographs of what’s happening through their perspective,” Day said. “As they role-play on-scene commander, once they spotted the life raft, they notified Coast Guard Station Atlantic City.”

As the C-17 was spotted in the distance, the crew began their series of signaling attempts to the aircrew aboard the aircraft.

“We came in at 500 feet through several passes while the guys in the raft were trying out different signaling techniques,” said 1st Lt. Nicholas Johnson, 3rd Airlift Squadron pilot. “Then we climbed to higher altitudes to see how clear we can see those visuals at different altitudes and capture data on what would be the best altitude to ingress to try and find guys on the ground.”

Spotting the life raft became a challenge on its own due to the high-speed winds and tall waves. It took a couple passes before the aircrew spotted the life raft.

“At first there were no visuals,” Johnson said. “It was just them on the raft and we had to find them. Even at 500 feet, which is pretty close to the ground, we weren’t able to see them until we were right on top of them.”

With each pass over the raft, the aircrew then ascended to higher altitudes to observe the effects altitude had on spotting the life raft. The higher they climbed, it became increasingly difficult to keep track of the life raft.

“There are a lot of lessons learned that I plan on relaying to the aircrew that could find themselves in that situation,” Day said. “It was amazing to see the interaction between all participating agencies and record all the success and failures that happened during the exercise.”

During flight operations, there is always risk involved. For Dover AFB, being prepared in case of a real world incident means readiness and tactful knowledge of basic water survival and search and rescue principles. Knowing how to signal aircraft aiding in rescue while also experiencing the dangers of open water is paramount to survival. The SERE team here is dedicated to ensuring aircrews have the skills needed to give themselves the best chance of survival.

Stories and some photos by Senior Airman Marco A. Gomez, 436th Airlift Wing Public

Some photos by Senior Airman Faith Schaefer

US Army Soldiers Experience The Great Escape Tour

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

?AGAN, POLAND — U.S. Army Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division participated in a guided tour at the Great Escape museum in ?agan, Poland, July 5, 2021.

The Great Escape was a massive escape attempt from Stalag Luft III, a prisoner of war (POW) camp in ?agan, Poland, controlled by Nazi Germany during WWII.

The Troopers walked approximately three miles through the woods to get the chance to learn about an essential piece of military history. Upon arrival, the Troopers were provided with a guided tour from the curator around the remains of Stalag Luft III.

The curator began the tour by leading the troopers to the memorial near the entrance of the museum. He explained the history behind the monument and the dedication to the Soviet prisoners that perished at Stalag Luft III. Outside, Troopers were able to see a replica of an old wooden watchtower and an exit to one of the three underground tunnels.

Once inside, the Troopers saw a miniature model of the camp and where the three tunnels — known as Tom, Dick, and Harry — were dug. This miniature model gave the Troopers a visual of the camp’s diversity. The museum displayed multiple flight suits from different countries.

The curator explained all the planning that went into the escape attempt and mentioned a few facts that aren’t commonly known. The camp was nearly impossible to escape from because of the elevated prisoner housing, loose, collapsible soil, and seismograph microphones in the ground around the perimeter of the camp. The prisoners had to be extremely cautious while preparing to escape under the guards’ watch.

The Troopers were able to explore a barracks replica outside the museum that would have housed prisoners of war. To their surprise, the living conditions in the barracks were much better than expected. There’s a common misconception that Stalag Luft III had living conditions similar to those of a concentration camp.

Although it was a prison camp, the Germans had to follow the rules set by the Geneva Convention according to the curator of the museum, so there was a standard of living that the prison had to uphold.

Staff Sgt. Noah Hill, a brigade religious affairs noncommissioned officer with 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, set up the guided tour. He said he enjoys seeing the Troopers get off base and learn more about the Polish culture near their area of operation.

“We went through our training rotation,” Hill said. “However, I also wanted them to be able to talk about the good that’s in Poland and build that trust with the Polish people who we’re working with.”

Troopers of 1st Cavalry have had the opportunity to partake in a few military history tours like this one. They have also toured Auschwitz concentration camp and been given a Polish military history presentation to understand Poland’s culture better. The 1st ABCT is currently undergoing redeployment operations before heading back to its home station in Ft. Hood, Texas.

By PFC Michael Baumberger

Preparation in the Face of the Unexpected – How USAF SERE Educates Military Members

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021


In efforts to prepare and protect the Air Force’s most valuable resource of all — Airmen — survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists undergo extensive training to make certain aircrew members are up to date with the latest on survival and evasion tactics. The tactics taught give Airmen skills to aid in their survival in worst-case scenarios.

The SERE specialists have to be experts in their profession in order to teach tactics and procedures effectively. To accomplish this they must complete rigorous training at technical school and pass the certification phase that follows.

The process for becoming a SERE specialist begins with a three-week-selection course, followed by a six-month technical school, which includes a three-week survival crash course that pilots and aircrew take to become operational, explained Tech. Sgt. Casey Carter, 18th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of SERE training. Once they successfully complete their technical school, they then go through a 6-12 month certification phase.

“When you’re certifying for those 6-12 months, you’re actually teaching aircrew and pilots that are coming through the schoolhouse and you have a trainer that’s evaluating you as an instructor,” Carter said. “Once certified, you’re on your own, and you get your own class of aircrew and pilots to take into the woods and instruct.”

Both Tech. Sgt. Kenji Scouton, 18th OSS NCO in charge of SERE operations, and Carter now lead the refresher courses on Kadena, recertifying pilots and aircrew members on the fundamentals of survival.

“It’s been interesting, I’ve seen some students I taught at the schoolhouse at Fairchild come through and get stationed out here,” Scouton said. “So I’ve had some guys be my students multiple times, whether it be in the initial course or the refresher courses.”

The refresher courses taught by SERE specialists include many classes such as combat survival training, conduct after capture training, water survival training and emergency parachute training. The training sessions typically begin with a few hours of lecture, followed by real-life application of the newly obtained knowledge.

The real-life applications vary for each lesson so preparation and execution can take hours. One of the more involved exercises, combat survival training, starts at sunset and goes until students are rescued, which can sometimes be as late as midnight.

“We put students through an invasion and navigation scenario that culminates in their successful recovery at the end of it,” Scouton said. “With a two-man shop, we have to play many parts. We go from teaching the class to kicking off the survival scenario, then from trying to catch them to trying to recover them. We try to provide them with what could look like real-world information so if the real event does happen, so they would at least be familiar with the steps it would take to be successfully recovered.”

Many factors make Kadena’s SERE team’s courses unique. Not only do they have to take into account the island life environment, but they also have to contend with the variety of aircraft and missions based out of here. This means the local SERE specialists have to be well versed in the specific gear that accompanies each aircraft.

“With each one of the refresher training courses, we have to tailor training to particular aircraft and the equipment they have,” Scouton said. “Being that we have fighter ejection seat aircraft, heavy aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft, we have to carry a multitude of different equipment to make sure we are meeting the needs of each person.”

During deployments, the main mission for SERE is personnel recovery. This entails working with PR assets directly, getting in contact with isolated personnel, guiding them to recovery and finally reintegrating the recovered personnel into their regular day-to-day life.

“Reintegration takes place in three phases. Everyone goes through phase one. If they are psychologically and medically cleared, then they are fit to fight again.” Carter said. “Phase two and three go deeper, and require more rehabilitation and frequent visits with medical and psychological professionals.”

Although their schedules are usually packed with training and refresher courses, the SERE specialists find enjoyment with their roles on island.

“Some may perceive it as a difficulty, but since we have so many different types of aircraft and missions on Kadena, it gives us a good opportunity to actually teach all the available refresher trainings,” Scouton said. “It’s really provided us with a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.”

By A1C Cesar J. Navarro, 18th Wing Public Affairs