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Sink or swim: 152nd Operations Group completes water survival training

Lt. Col. Scott Baker completes the parachute drag release station during water survival training at North Island Naval Air Station, Calif., in August. The pilot, navigators, engineers and loadmasters in the 152nd Airlift Wing’s Operations Group completed their requisite aircrew intelligence and water survival during the training on the California coast.
Photo by Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Palmer, 152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs (released).

Lt. Col. Scott Baker completes the parachute drag release station during water survival training at North Island Naval Air Station, Calif., in August. The pilot, navigators, engineers and loadmasters in the 152nd Airlift Wing’s Operations Group completed their requisite aircrew intelligence and water survival during the training on the California coast. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Palmer, 152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs (released).

NORTH ISLAND NAVAL AIR STATION, Calif. --      Thrown into the proverbial deep end here during a variety of water-training scenarios, about 100 Airmen in the 152nd Operations Group completed their requisite aircrew intelligence and water survival here in August.
     Pilots, navigators, engineers, and loadmasters comprised the majority of the participants in the training that must be successfully completed every three years. The participants traveled to California via two 152nd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules aircraft.
     "This training allows our aircrews to acquire the skill sets they need to survive in an emergency situation, whether they are out in the ocean or aboard a downed aircraft," said aircrew flight equipment superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Kelly Cavins.
     Aircrew flight-equipment personnel set up four stations to conduct the training. The training scenarios included a parachute drag release, a single-man life raft station, a parachute maneuver station and a 20-man life raft station.
     The parachute drag release station simulated the moments an aircrew member experiences after landing in water with a parachute. The training entailed life preserver inflation and quick parachute release despite high winds.
     The single-man life raft station tested an Airman's ability to enter a lift raft without incident and allowed individuals to become familiar with the raft's supplies.
     The third station forced Airmen to maneuver under a parachute while in water. To survive the potential situation of being submerged under a parachute, Airmen practiced finding air pockets and avoiding entanglements in parachute lines.
     The fourth station involved the 20-man life raft. The group's Airmen practiced boarding the large life raft without causing a puncture and learned about the raft's store of supplies and how to properly care for the raft.
     The operations group commander, Col. Kyle Reid, said the training was beneficial and relevant. He was among the group's Airmen who had previously completed intelligence and water survival training in 2010.
     "You can't get training like this on base in Reno, so we're excited. I enjoy it a lot," Reid said. "It's great. Hopefully we can continue to do this."