Air Force SERE modernizes training

Senior Master Sgt. Brian Kemmer, 66th Training Squadron, Det. 3. superintendent, addresses special operations recruiters from the 330th Recruiting Squadron before an immersion at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, June 3, 2019. Due to COVID-19, modernizing the SERE training is under review to shift a one-size fits all approach to a flexible and more efficient concept that will adequately prepare forces for a high-end conflict. ( U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Kayshel Trudell)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) — The 336th Training Group is streamlining Air Force survival, evasion, resistance and escape training with several possible permanent changes to modernize training which have been under review but are being expedited because of COVID-19.

As a response to COVID-19, SERE training at the group paused for 14 days to implement movement restrictions, which is when healthy individuals with no known exposure or illness monitor their own health status prior to being introduced into a previously healthy population.

“This has been near and dear to my heart for the last 15 months in planning,” said Col. Carlos Brown, 336th Training Group commander. “We are confident this new format of training will be able to get the right airman, the right training and the right time and make the training process more efficient.”

The changes will involve shifting the SERE training paradigm from a one-size-fits-all approach to a flexible and more efficient concept that will adequately prepare forces for a high-end conflict, including the incorporation of distance learning into the curriculum.

“These changes will provide more tailored training for our airmen while delivering them to their combat units more quickly,” said Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander. “This is an exciting development that saves our most valuable resource — our airmen’s time, while preparing our Air Force to better meet the demands of the 21st century fight.”

Initial SERE training for airmen at high risk of isolation has been conducted through four courses over a 26-day period. Now, leaders at 336th TRG believe they have found a way to restructure the training requirements, which make it more efficient and ultimately saves time. COVID-19 expedited the need to test these changes, which are proving to be beneficial.

The modernization effort, if approved by the Air Force, will provide tailored and targeted training based on an airman’s AFSC and the level of risk they may face on the battlefield. This custom approach to training targets the right airman, at the right time, in the right place for training.

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