JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
The 66th Training Squadron’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape cadre here hosted recruiters from the 330th Special Operations Recruiting Squadron on March 28, 2019.
The recruiters were given an immersive tour to witness what SERE candidates at the 66th TRS’s training facility experience and to provide them with a perspective for identifying prospective airmen for the SERE career field.
“Our goal is to recruit high quality candidates who would be a good fit for special warfare career fields,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Geren, special operations recruiting flight chief. “Today’s experience with the SERE cadre was invaluable and will make our team more effective recruiters. We will take back with us more knowledge to provide to potential trainees along with insight on who would make a competitive candidate and how we can help prepare interested individuals to be successful in the SERE pipeline.”
The SERE training pipeline begins with the SERE Specialist Training Orientation Course here, which runs for 15 days and focuses on airmen interested in becoming SERE specialists. Upon successful completion of this orientation course, candidates are sent to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, to attend the SERE Specialist Training Course, which is a 22-week course.
During the visit, recruiters toured the SERE classroom, examined training equipment and visited the SERE physical training facility while members of the cadre explained what the STOC course is like and how candidates are graded throughout training.
“It’s our job to make sure that the members we send to the Basic SERE Training and Apprentice Course are the right candidates for this very challenging training,” said Justin Samaniego, 66th TRS instructor. “Physical fitness is important, but just as important are the abilities to manage time, adapt and bounce back from failure, and stay motivated.”
Recruiters also had the chance to experience a portion of SERE candidate training: a "ruck" hike. They only hiked for two miles to get an idea of the physical stamina required of candidates. Candidates must hike four miles in under 60 minutes while carrying a 65-pound rucksack to continue to the next assessment milestone. After the hike, SERE instructors brought the recruiters to a nearby wooded area and demonstrated shelter-building techniques. They demonstrated how to create a shelter from a parachute, poncho or other items that can be found in the environment.
“It’s the responsibility of SERE specialists to be prepared to survive in any situation, in any environment,” said R.C. DeLano, 66th TRS program manager. “It’s their role as instructors to train airmen across the force how to do the same.”
For more information on SERE visit, https://www.airforce.com/careers/detail/survival-evasion-resistance-and-escape-sere.