Darn Tough Vermont

Archive for the ‘SERE’ Category

US Air Force Museum to Open Survival Exhibit

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

Opening February 18th, the US Air Force Museum will host “Survival: The Exhibit” which promises to combine STEM concepts with hands-on challenges to empower you with the skills, know-how, and confidence to survive any scenario. But all from the safety of a museum.

Looks like a lot of fun. Take the kids!

The Air Force Museum is located on Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH, and has free entry.

Learn more here.


Monday, November 21st, 2022

[ARLINGTON, TX, 11/18/2022] Imminent Threat Solutions is proud to release the  ITS SPIE® Kit! Our Special Purpose Insertion/Extraction Kit contains the tools to aid an Escape & Evasion (E&E), or a Home Invasion Scenario and escape from illegal restraint.

The carrying case for the ITS SPIE® Kit features our SPIE® Mints Insert printed on Waterproof Paper to store important written information and also features a durable Water-Resistant Air-Release Label, to help prevent air bubbles and ensure your kit hides in plain sight!

While ITS carries other small entry tools that can be stored covertly, the SPIE® Kit is purpose-built to be carried overtly in a pocket and hide in plain sight, just as the most popular pocket mints would.

Imminent Threat Solutions provides indispensable skill-sets and products to prepare for the unexpected and prevail against all threats.

For more information on ITS Products, please visit store.itstactical.com

Orilia Emergency Locator Beacons

Thursday, November 3rd, 2022

Earlier this year Safran purchased Orilia, a business which specializes in resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) among other things. One of those other things is Emergency Locator Beacons like this one for Search and Rescue they showed me at AUSA.

It’s a simple device that transits the location once turned on via the integrated tape-style antenna which stores wrapped around the device. It also resists GPS jamming and spoofing for high confidence of isolated personnel location.

OTTE Gear – Covert Escape Evade Kit

Friday, July 29th, 2022

The C.E.E.K. (Covert Escape Evade Kit) is OTTE Gear’s solution for the everyday civilian who wants to have on his person or gear, certain tools that would be needed during an Escape and Evasion (E&E) Scenario. Designed to be small and discreet, this kit is not just for military operators or intelligence agents. Civilians can just as well utilize them for travel or EDC.

The kit includes:

MICROBAT MICRO CANDY: The Candy Micro is a Velcro-backed 4″x4″ pouch with a 4″x2″ Loop Velcro strip on the front side for identifier patches. The Candy Micro has nearly unlimited uses, Micro’s can fill roles of exterior organization of critical items on Chest Rigs and Plate Carriers, compartmentalization inside backpacks, or supplemental storage on the upper sleeves of combat shirts.

OSS LOCK PICK MICRO SET: 3 Inch tension bar, Short Hook (flat top), Snake (3/7 raker), Camel Back

MOON PHASE CARD: The Faze Card Allows the End User to Quickly Check the Natural Illume for one Calendar Year, Faze Cards are made of a Durable Light Weight Plastic Material, They Measure 3.5″x 3.5″ and fit Inside the Micro Candy Pouch for Storage and Reference.

GTFO WRIST STRAP: Lightweight, fully adjustable, and discreet; these straps are made of an elastic material and a tungsten carbide stryker bead. Designed by 4TAC5, this tool facilitates emergency vehicle egress via side or rear windows in confined spaces.

INFARED ID SQUARE: Infrared ID Squares and Circles Have Long Been Used to ID Friend/Foe on Friendly Kit and Uniforms, Made with Mil-Spec IR Material and Industrial Velcro.

NFC DISC: This small and discreet disk is easily concealed and allows the passage of information between devices by proximity versus sending over networks. 

FIELD SCRIBE: Quickly jot down notes, license plates, descriptions, etc.,

UNIVERSAL HANDCUFF KEY: Made from glass-filled nylon this Universal Handcuff Key is undetectable by metal detectors and durable.

MICRO GLOW STICKS: These micro light-sticks are a highly concealable light source.

6FT 100LBS KEVLAR CORD: Black Braided Kevlar Line is made of 100% Dupont Kevlar Fiber, multi-strands weaving process which means high strength, high anti-abrasive and excellent resistance to cut

MICRO COMPASS: This super compact button compass is balanced for the northern hemisphere.

MICRO LIGHT: This small nonblinking light is powered by three replaceable 1.5V LR41 button cells (strong light lasts for 4 – 5 hours)

STORM PROOF MATCHES: Stormproof matches that are easy to light, and will stay lit for up to 15 seconds, even after being submerged in water.

POP KNIFE WITH STRIKE PANEL: Safe, fully retractable blade with 3M Match Striker Sticker on the side.

RFID CARD SLEEVE: This sleeve is equipped with advanced RFID SECURE Technology, a unique metal composite, engineered specifically to block 13.56 MHz or higher RFID signals and protect the valuable information stored on RFID chips from unauthorized scans.

Note: This kit was not designed to thwart Law Enforcement or endanger those protecting our streets daily.

SERE Specialists Thrive in Harshest Conditions: Teaching Next Generation of Officers to Do the Same

Friday, July 22nd, 2022


Organizing safe, effective survival and evasion training for nearly 1,000 people isn’t easy – especially in an austere and unforgiving environment that’s hours from the nearest signs of civilization. But Capt. Jason Walker and Master Sgt. Brian Youngberg’s team of 33 Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Specialists are doing just that this summer as they train hundreds of U.S. Air Force Academy cadets during three 21-day courses on critical survival and evasion skills at the Air Force Academy and Pinon Canyon Military Site near Trinidad, Colorado.

The Air Force Academy Combat Survival Training program enables cadets to practice and learn the skills required to survive as an isolated personnel in a combat environment.  This training also provides leadership opportunities for upper-class Cadets and shortens the training timeline for new lieutenants in certain AFSCs. 

“SERE provides the tools necessary to survive in multiple situations and to return with honor,” said Walker. “This program is designed to not only introduce cadets to these survival skills, but also offer them a leadership opportunity.”

On a normal day these specialists instruct at the 336th Training Group at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, where they’re responsible not only for teaching SERE to more than 6,000 Airmen annually but also training candidates in the SERE technical training pipeline.

“Helping people has always driven me,” Youngberg said. “SERE as a career field is predominantly helping people, whether to learn the skills that will help them return with honor or to do their jobs.”

While teaching SERE isn’t new to the specialists, the scale of the program is. A small-group try-out was conducted in 2021 with just over 130 cadets completing the program. This year’s iteration, consisting of three 300-plus blocks of students, represents a nearly 800% increase in student training.

One unique aspect to the program is that cadet cadre act as primary instructors, having completed a hands-on training course with SERE Specialists, who help guide student learning and ensure course objectives are met.  This provides cadet cadre with opportunities to grow their leadership and develop in a controlled training environment.

Nearly 1,200 cadets are anticipated to complete the program by the end of the summer.

“Any time you’re dealing with 1,200 people, there are a whole bunch of gears that have to fit together the right way,” Walker said. Weather, environmental factors, instructional timelines, safety and more all have to be factored in and adjustments made to ensure students receive proper training. 

The team of SERE Specialists are eagerly tackling the challenge of adapting their training to the cadets.

“Uncertainty is where SERE specialists thrive,” Walker said. “The team out here has one officer, a senior NCO, a couple NCOs, and then the rest are all Airmen. These Airmen are problem-solving nonstop to get the mission accomplished. It’s awesome to watch them.”

The team of SERE specialists also appreciate the chance to mentor the future officers.

“For a lot of the cadets, this is their first exposure to active duty non-commissioned officers,” Youngberg said. “So they’re able to talk with our SERE Specialists for perspective on what it’s like being active duty and understand the importance of the officer and NCO relationship.”

Walker agrees. “Mentoring is my favorite part,” he said. “It’s great when you see the light switch flip on, because it means you were able to connect and get information across in a way that people understand. And then also seeing students do things they didn’t think they could do or hadn’t done before.”

To become a SERE Specialist, Airmen must be both physically capable and mentally prepared for extreme conditions, requiring more than a year of intense, and grueling training. Candidates are initially assessed through a 19-day screening course at Joint-Base San Antonio-Lackland, where they are evaluated on their physical fitness, aptitude, dedication, and leadership potential. After passing those tests, candidates undergo the rigorous SERE Specialist training that prepares them to survive in any environment, including deserts, mountains, arctic conditions and on the open water.  Following graduation, SERE Specialists undergo more dive, parachute and emergency medical technician training, ensuring they have the right skills to operate in any situation. Only 40% of candidates that begin the pipeline end up earning the coveted pewter-green SERE beret.

The Combat Survival Training program at the Air Force Academy concludes July 29, and is expected to continue to impact future leaders for years to come.

Story by Capt Lauren Woods, Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Photos by Trevor Cokley

Refined Savages – G-Spot Fire Starter Kit

Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

The GLOCK family of pistols has an interesting feature which has spawned quite a few aftermarket accessories.

Refined Savages saw the empty channel in the grip behind the magazine well and thought it would be the perfect space for a fire starter.

The G-Spot Fire Starter Kit includes:
Ferro Rod
Metal Striker
Flame Wicking Cotton
Accelerant Gel Packs

Compatible with the GLOCK 17, GLOCK 19 GLOCK 34, and GLOCK 35.


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 events.sofwerx.org/tcc for full details.