Royal Navy opens new survival training facility

Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton recently opened a new facility which will provide survival training in the event of a helicopter incident or accident over the water.

The Royal Navy School of Maritime SERE (survive, evade, resist, escape) and underwater escape training unit (UETU) was opened by Rear Admiral Keith Blount who welcomed all to the new facility.

The facility in the first stage provides training to Yeovilton’s personnel who will be taught the procedures to follow whilst in an aircraft as it hits the water and sinks below the surface, day or night! They are then taught how to safely exit the aircraft whilst it is fully submerged under the water and return to the surface.

For the second part of the training they are then instructed on how to make safe whilst on the surface of the water by housing themselves in personal life rafts and waiting to be rescued. The third element of training is the rescue by air where personnel are winched from their life rafts on the water and recovered to safety.

Previous to this new facility across three pools housing 1,125,000 liters of water all of these elements of training were conducted separately in different locations and at different times due to the nature of training.

Now however the new Royal Navy School of Maritime SERE and Underwater Escape Training allows for all this training to take place in one location in a totally simulated facility.

The Environmental Pool Trainer facility is capable of simulating full climatic conditions (Wind, Rain, Waves, Darkness) to ensure the training is fully representative of all the elements that might be faced in the real situation. The pool can have a two metre swell!

Simon Jones, Project Manager at DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation) said: “This facility demonstrates DIO’s ability to deliver cost effective, bespoke solutions for our customers as is an essential component of our commitment to our world class military training. Our robust framework allowed us to collaborate with both Military and Industry partners to deliver this challenging project to specific timescales.”

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