Saturday, June 28, 2014


This week I got to participate in one of the best trainings the military has ever offered me. Helicopter Overwater Survival Training and Dunker. Don't get me wrong, I was terrified, but this training is legit! There are several courses covered but the main goal is to egress from an upside down, underwater helicopter. It starts out slow and gets progressively more advanced. I did not enjoy holding my breath while being strapped in to a 4-point harness. Even though you get out pretty quick, I felt anxious each time.
Once you have mastered the breath hold ditching, they train you up on how to use compressed air. I've never SCUBA dived but I loved having the air. You still get strapped in, turned upside down and dunked but before trying to egress, you put your mouth piece in and clear it. Once you have taken a couple of calm breaths, then you can begin the methodical egress process.
Let's be honest, I did not achieve even one calm breath upside down and underwater. Each time I cleared my mouth piece, I inhaled like a fat kid eating a piece of double fudge chocolate cake. Thank every god that man has created, that there was never any water in my mouth piece or I might not be here today. I don't think I could have made it out if that were the case. Egressing the death trap didn't come naturally to me. This was evident once the multitude of bruises I acquired, started appearing. I was not as graceful as I thought. You really can't tell that you're hitting and kicking everything around you on the way out because ALL that you are thinking about is getting air into your depleted lungs.
After it was all over, I loved it and had a great time. I'm hoping that this day of torture helped prepare me for my next training, SERE. I leave on Sunday and will be gone for 3 weeks. I'm thinking of taking before and after pictures. People come back different. It's weird.

Each door on this fuselage is a replica of a different Army helicopter. You sit at each station and practice egressing from the different doors. 

The SWET chairs on the left are practice before the bigger trainer

Shallow Water Egress Training (I freaked out a little on this one and tried to kick the instructor)

There are several instructors each time it goes down to make sure everyone gets out safely. Right before it goes underwater they yell, "Ditching, ditching, ditching". I now hear that in my nightmares.

The Apache trainer

1 comment:

Janna Renee said...

Haha I can just picture you kicking the instructor.