Archive for the ‘SERE’ Category

Jacobite Solutions – Button Up Pouch

Saturday, February 27th, 2021

A simple device, the Button Up Pouch uses the button fly common on many brands of jeans, offering a small storage solution.

SERE Specialists Conquer the Arctic

Thursday, February 18th, 2021


Wind gusts as high as 50 mph, wind chills dropping to minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and a place where the sun does not rise above the horizon for 65 consecutive days. Arctic survival training is not for the faint of heart however for the survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists, it is a rite of passage.

SERE specialists from across the country participated in S-V81-C Barren Land Arctic Survival training Jan. 9-23 in Utqia?vik (Barrow), Alaska.

S-V81-C is a part of the SERE five-level upgrade course where SERE specialists gain valuable experience surviving in the harsh arctic environment.

“It’s the experiential factor that enables Air Force SERE specialists to provide the highest standard of arctic training to the Department of Defense,” said Master Sgt. Garrett Wright, Detachment 1, 66th Training Squadron, Arctic Survival School superintendent.

After leaving Barrow and completing training, SERE specialists have gained a new understanding of the difficult conditions isolated personnel could face in the Arctic. With this knowledge in hand, SERE specialists are able to educate personnel across the globe on the various environments they operate in.

From Eielson Air Force Base, five SERE specialists from the 66th Training Squadron, Detachment 1 led S-V81-C training in Barrow.

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Waterbury, 66th TRS, Det. 1 operations noncommissioned officer in charge, once a student, is now responsible for imparting his technical expertise to others at S-V81-C.

“It is cool to teach a course that I came through (years ago),” said Waterbury. “I never really thought that I would be doing it again; especially running operations for it.”

This year, two classes trained in Barrow and 44 students graduated the course. 24 participants from Jan. 9-16 and 20 from Jan. 16-23. Active duty, Guard and Reserve SERE specialists attended this year’s training along with personnel from the 123rd Contingency Response Group and the Air Force Joint Test Program Office.

This year, Cool School’s operations were supported by an independent medical duty technician from the 354th Medical Group and two defenders from the 354th Security Forces Squadron, who provided overnight polar bear guard.

Additionally, a team led by Lt. Col. Nathan Barrett, the AFJO joint test director, conducted shelter temperature testing as part of Cool School’s efforts to modernize its instructional data.

S-V81-C training includes a day of academic instruction where students learn about health, sustenance, personal protection, signaling, recovery and travel in an arctic environment.

Throughout the week, students learn how to operate in the Arctic and build shelters from snow caves to igloos. In total, students construct six different shelter configurations over the course of four days, to enable their survival in the Arctic tundra.

The Cool School team brought the students out to the Chukchi Sea where they ignited MK-124s, a smoke and illumination flare, to learn about the intricacies of signaling and recovery.

One of the highlights of the training is the cultural immersion with the local indigenous people, giving many students a broader perspective and appreciation for the Arctic.

“Our students have a unique opportunity to learn from the indigenous people, so they can come to a better understanding of the cultural influences that enabled them to survive in such a harsh region for thousands of years,” said Maj. Tyler Williams, 66th TRS, Det. 1 commander. “Before all of this modern equipment, it was the cultural values and practices that allowed them to thrive in this region.”

This immersion also aligns with the Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy through collaborative planning opportunities particularly building upon relationships with indigenous communities in the Arctic region to learn from their expertise.

What makes this year’s training different from its previous iterations is the introduction of the geopolitical aspects of recovery.

“There’s a lot of people who live across the Arctic,” Wright said. “Students have to understand that they might not be picked up by American forces and they may not even be military.”

Williams emphasized that this training plays an important role in mission preparation to the Air Force Arctic Strategy. The Air Force has recognized the importance to prepare aircrew for operations in extreme polar regions, and SERE specialists perform a vital role in doing just that.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best equipment or aircraft in the world,” Williams said. “If you don’t have the right training, the Arctic environment will kill you.”

Story by Airman 1st Class Jose Miguel T. Tamondong, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Photos by Maj Tyler Williams and MSgt Ryan M. Dewey

TEKNA Survival Box

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

You couldn’t have grown up as a kid in the 1980s without coveting one of Tekna’s knives or lights. They made a resurgence a few years ago and are offering their staples as well as few other item like this Survival Box.

This 36-piece emergency survival kit offers over 50 functions. With it, you can catch and prepare food, start a fire, find your way, signal for help and much more.


• Water and shock resistant polymer case with lanyard, + room for addtional items. Can be used as a solar snow melter, or scoop.

• Splash Lite LED lithium diving flashlight with 20-yr shelf life, battery included. Lens can be used as magnifier.

• 17 piece fishing tackle: hooks, swivels, fly, weights, 40’ of 40 lb braided fishing line. Use hook & line for sewing, Line for lashing, lacing.

• 11 Function Stainless Steel Multi-tool with can opener, knife, screwdriver, ruler, bottle cap opener, 4 position wrench, oxygen valve wrench, saw blade, compass overlay, 2 position wrench, and a lanyard/keyring hole.

• Signal mirror (stainless) with sight

• Small animal snare (stainless)

• Spearhead / Arrowhead (stainless)

• Liquid filled Compass with lanyard groove (Use fishing line)

• Magnesium fire starter stick

• Ceramic knife sharpener rod

• Foam pad can be used for fishing float, or bathing sponge

• Nail for making holes, & 2 Safety pins

• A LOKSAK brand bag for water storage, FDA Approved Medical Grade Materials

• Survival guide fan card (10 pages). The most important part!

• Marine signal whistle with clip

Complies with the “Buy American Act”, meaning it may contain imported components.

Ceil Button Kits from Jacobite Solutions

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Jacobite Solutions is offering Pre-made Ceil button kits which are hollow and used to conceal escape and evasion aids.

Kits include 2x Small Buttons (23mm), 2x Large Buttons (30mm), Micro friction cord, a Tramp’s Compass, a Baby Key and a Stainless cuff shim.

There are two types.

British Issue – Replaces the standard British issue buttons.

Sew on – Can be sewn on to clothing like a traditional button.

Caps unscrew without the need for button removal. Extra buttons can be bought separately.

Garmin Acquires the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center

Friday, January 8th, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the GEOS IERCC has joined the Garmin family. The asset acquisition includes the International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) and GEOS membership benefits.

Garmin is committed to ensuring the IERCC continues its superior service as an industry-leading provider of emergency monitoring and response services. Together, we are dedicated to continuing to ensure that adventurers and travelers all over the world have access to 24/7 emergency assistance when they need it.

Here is the Press Release:

Garmin® International and Garmin Services, units of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the acquisition of substantially all the assets of GEOS Worldwide Limited and its subsidiaries. A privately held, industry leading provider of emergency monitoring and incident response services, GEOS Worldwide operates the International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), the nerve center for SOS rescue efforts triggered by Garmin’s inReach® personal satellite communicators. The IERCC’s skilled response coordinators have fielded more than 83,000 emergency incidents around the globe since 2007, including more than 5,000 SOS incidents generated by Garmin customers.

“With this acquisition, Garmin is now able to provide even more peace of mind to our inReach users,” said Brad Trenkle, vice president of Garmin’s outdoor segment. “In an emergency, every moment matters. The addition of the IERCC to the Garmin family reinforces our commitment to helping our active lifestyle customers make it home safe from their adventures.”

“GEOS has enjoyed a strong collaboration with Garmin over the years, and we look forward to continuing to work together to continue to provide best-in-class emergency response and safety services for customers around the globe,” said Peter Chlubek, GEOS executive chairman. “GEOS has been a force for good in this world, and I am very proud of our superb staff, who have helped to save over 12,000 lives in the 198 countries where we have provided our global service. This will now continue to grow and be further enhanced thanks to new synergies with Garmin.”

GEOS Worldwide’s primary operations are in Montgomery, Texas. Financial terms of the acquisition will not be released.

What is GEOS and the IERCC?

GEOS has been the leading global provider of safety and response solutions for over ten years. GEOS has also been home to the IERCC, a 24/7 monitoring center that has organized more than 11,000 emergency responses in 195 countries and territories since 2007, including all inReach® SOS incidents. The IERCC will continue its critical work under the Garmin brand.

Will there be any changes to the inReach SOS feature?

No, inReach SOS functionality will remain the same. When you trigger an SOS, the incident will still be handled by the dedicated team at the IERCC.

I have additional GEOS membership benefits. Are there any changes?

Garmin will honor the MEDEVAC and Search and Rescue (SAR) memberships provided by GEOS Travel Safety. You can continue to manage your membership(s) in the same method as you did prior to the acquisition.

Shomer-Tec Fire Buttons

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Shomer-Tec always has some cool gadgets like these Fire Buttons intended as a last resort fire starter.

These standard sized buttons (3/4″ diameter, 5/32″ thickness) are available in two different materials: Ferrocerium and Magnesium. Ferrocerium is a synthetic pyrophoric alloy which produces hot sparks that can reach temperatures of 5400° F when rapidly oxidized by striking with a hard object. Magnesium shavings provide a highly efficient accelerant and serve as a super hot tinder. Fire is produced by scraping shavings off the Magnesium button, and then striking the Ferrocerium button to produce a shower of sparks which can ignite the Magnesium shavings in order to set fire to kindling material.

If you use these, remember that the buttons are flammable, so give it a solid think on where you attach them.

First Arctic Survival Kits Installed in Eielson F-35As

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska — In November of 2019, Airmen from the 354th Fighter Wing developed a new arctic survival kit for the F-35A Lightning II. Now, 11 months later, the first kits are being installed in Eielson’s F-35A fleet.

Eielson’s F-35As are the first of the Air Force’s fleet to be stationed in an arctic climate, which drove the need for a new survival kit. After months of research, development and testing, the design was sent to the 354th Operations Group commander for approval. In April the kit was given the “green light” and aircrew flight equipment Airmen got busy building them for the approaching winter.

“Due to the smaller size of the seat we are limited on how many items we can pack in here,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ross Dugger, a 354th Operations Support Squadron AFE craftsman. “Over the years, we’ve worked with [survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists] to develop this kit and decided what is the most essential equipment needed to survive.”

Airmen from AFE are responsible for packing the kit to fit a specific size in the F-35A before it is ready to go into the jet. The kit consists of survival tools and equipment to help pilots in case of an emergency ejection to include a knife for gathering food, a poncho to stay dry, and flares to signal rescue teams.

“It’s been a learning curve, with the seats being so new they are not as easy to pack,” Dugger said. “With time we will become more efficient and continue to ensure our pilots’ safety.”

After the kit has been packed and fitted to the seat, Airmen assigned to the 354th Maintenance Squadron Aircrew Egress Flight bring the kit to the jet and carefully swap the summer kit with the arctic kit. While doing this, Egress also inspects the seat for discrepancies to ensure the pilot will be safe if they eject.

“We are starting from the ground up, setting up systems and learning as we go,” said Staff Sgt. Victor Benitez, a 354th MXS Aircrew Egress specialist. “There’s a lot of components and sometimes it can take a long time to put just one bolt in, but it has to be done so that everything works 100 percent of the time.”

The new arctic seat kits will be installed on all of Eielson’s F-35A fleet and could potentially be used by some partner nations who have F-35s in similar climates.

“Hopefully they never have to use these items but I take a lot of pride in my work, which could potentially save a pilot’s life,” Dugger said.

By Senior Airman Beaux Hebert, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Exotac toolROLL

Sunday, October 18th, 2020

The Exotac toolROLL is an excellent choice to store and carry basic FieldCraft items like fire starters.

Once I rolled, it features a flap with five mesh pockets. Under that are five additional elastic slip pockets.

Blaze Orange so you won’t lose it when you need it most.