We Who Served
Mike’s blog posts
If you missed episode 1 here it is from YouTube.com
I found this interesting as I spent 23 years in the Air Force as an Aircrew Life Support Specialist. The main job of ALS was to inspect the survival equipment and train personel in its use. There is another specialty field called SERE. SERE stands for Search, Evasion, Recovery and Escape. This was an under manned field. When no SERE Instructors were available at a base Aircrew Life Support took over their job as well. We never had a SERE Instructor in all the years I served at the 193rd Special Operations Wing.
While doubling as a SERE Instructor was challenging & time consuming it was also fun. We would take our crews out for training and use Security Forces personnel as aggressors and involved our Intel people and Medics as much as we could. Watching Inside Combat Rescue you get to see only the action of the PJ’s or Pararescue.
Everything in the Air Force has an AFSC designator. You can tell how closely related all our fields are by the AFSC designators:
1T0X1 — Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Training
1T1X1 — Aircrew Life Support
1T2X1 — Pararescue
It all starts with basic training. You then move on to your various specialty training, whether it is Intel, Security, Aircrew, SERE or Medic. We taught refresher courses to Aircrews in Chemical Warfare, Parachuting, Survival Equipment, Water Survival and Combat Survival. Operations Aircrew, Intel and ALS / SERE personnel all go through various schools for survival as well as resistance to interrogation training. Intel handles the resistance part of refresher training for Aircrews. It all comes together when deployed to the combat theater.
Inside Combat Rescue shows the rescue part of the action. It does a good job of that. It leaves out the training and even the search aspects. So much more could have been added to increase the entertainment value. It lacks “The Big Picture.” Maybe they will one day do a “beginning to end” series.
Afghanistan & much of Iraq are baren wastelands making it ideal for TV. I assure you we are trained for all environments, Arctic, Water, Woodland / Jungle and Desert. Here is hoping you enjoy the min series!