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RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath aircrews converge for training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Clark Staehle
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Units from RAFs Mildenhall and Lakenheath took part in a survival, evasion, resistance and escape demonstration and training March 6.

To complete that training, troops from the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Group here met with RAF Lakenheath's 48th Fighter Wing troops at the Ministry of Defence's Stanford Training Area, near Thetford, England.

Forming three groups and simulating a downed aircraft, the Airmen used survival radios to contact rescue aircraft already in the area and relayed their location for recovery.

Once helicopters departed after simulated rescues, military working dogs and their handlers, from both the 100th ARW and 48th FW security forces squadrons, pursued the aircrews, firing blanks from M-16s and setting off simulated explosions. Once safely in hiding, the aircrews began the evasion part of their training, which ultimately wrapped up that evening.

"When it's real world, and it's really happening, that's the time we need them to do things absolutely right," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Graham, NCO in charge of 100th ARW SERE training. "And, that's what this training is designed to do -- have them make those mistakes now, learn from it and move on and be able to perform properly in the real situation,"

Pararescuemen with the 56th Rescue Squadron at RAF Lakenheath operated HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and Airmen with the 488th Intelligence Squadron and the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron here operated an RC-135 Rivet Joint for the monthly training -- both participating in the SERE training for the first time.

"Absolutely this was a success," Sergeant Graham said.