Water survival training is a requirement for almost all military pilots. The US Air Force has mandatory tri-annual water survival training designed to refresh pilots on recovery procedures if they have to eject over water.
“Water survival training is an excellent opportunity for us to understand what we would have to do should we have to eject,” said Lt. Col. Taj Troy, a fighter pilot assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron. “It also serves as a good refresher to keep us relevant.”
Each pilot suited up with training gear that mirrors the operational flight equipment they wear while conducting training and combat flying missions, such as a helmet, life preserver unit and full flight suit, while completing various tasks both in the water and on land.
Before the water training, the pilots were given in-depth instructions on all of the gear they have available to them when they fly in real-world scenarios.
“Safety is key,” said Hannah Connor, an Aircrew Flight Equipment technician assigned to the 169th Operation Support Squadron. “Our people are our number one resource, and we want to make sure that they’re safe above everything else.” – Air National Guard
Featured image of U.S. Air Force Maj. Justin Mock, a pilot assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron, preparing to swim under a canopy during water refresher training conducted in Lake Murray, located in Chapin, S.C by US Air Force