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Guardsmen learn SERE strategies at Dugway

SALT LAKE CITY -- Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape specialists play a vital role in the U.S. Air Force. The skills they teach save the lives of airmen around the globe who are separated and alone in hostile situations.

For Technical Sgt. Ricky Carrillo of the 151st Air Refueling Wing, SERE training is an everyday concern.

On April 19th Carrillo and six other members of the 151st ARW Air Crew Flight Equipment unit spent their day teaching SERE skills to nearly 100 members of the 151st Logistics Readiness Squadron at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah.

"Dugway is a perfect place for this training because the environment is identical to what they will face when they are deployed in Afghanistan," said Chief Master Sgt. Rod Davis. The training covered topics ranging from how to find water in the desert, to signaling a passing aircraft and evading a hostile force. Water survival, a major component of the SERE training, will be added to the curriculum next year, said Davis.

According to the U.S. Air Force, SERE specialists are a specialized career field whose job is to prepare DOD personnel to return with honor from isolating events. Their training consists of learning to adapt to all environments and their associated weather conditions, along with surviving various captivity situations. SERE specialists operate in the field of personnel recovery by providing support to the five execution tasks; Report, Locate, Support, Recover, and Reintegrate.

"The main benefit of training at Dugway is that it allows the unit to concentrate on wartime skills in an environment free from distractions," said Col. Jack Wall, 151st Mission Support Group Commander.

"At the end of this training these airmen will be equipped to survive the mental and physical hardships of being separated from their units in a hostile environment," said Davis.