Monday, 07 December 2020 08:48

Rivolto SERE Training

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Aviano Air Base participated in a two day joint exercise with Italian Air Force members at Rivolto Air Base, Italy on June 10 and 11.

The exercise, which included the 56th Rescue Squadron, 57th Rescue Squadron, 510th Fighter Squadron, 555th Fighter Squadron, 31st Operations Support Squadron’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) team and the Italian Air Force, tested the base’s readiness of personnel recovery functions and overall integration for a multinational personnel recovery operation.

The scenario for the exercise was personnel recovery in a contested environment and each unit involved had specific roles to play in the simulated operation.

“Being able to effectively execute and rescue downed Airmen or isolated individuals is the end goal,” said Tech. Sgt. Dylan L. Sedillo, the NCO in Charge for SERE training with the 31st Operations Support Squadron. “Even better, doing that in a joint or coalition environment is key with our current operations.”

The 555th and 510th FS provided pilots to undergo SERE’s Combat Survival Training (CST) and to act as the downed personnel with simulated injuries that landed in foreign territory.

CST is a course that SERE teaches at least once a month to necessary personnel. In this exercise, the pilots were tasked with practicing evading foreign or enemy forces and using their Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) to make contact with the 603rd Air Operations Center / Personnel Recovery Coordination Cell (AOC/PRCC) to engage recovery.

“ITAF’s role in this exercise was to coordinate personnel recovery for the American pilots on the ground and providing close air support to eliminate targets so the rescue vehicle and recovery team could pick up the ‘downed’ pilots,” said Sedillo.

ITAF had many different roles to play throughout the exercise. They were tasked with reporting, locating and supporting the pilots on the ground. Other ITAF security forces personnel volunteered to be opposing forces. Their job was to patrol the perimeter and report any suspicious activity that they encountered from the pilots.

The 56th RQS was tasked with flying two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters carrying 57th RQS pararescuemen to the landing zone to extract the pilots. After spotting both of the pilots’ flares, one HH-60 landed and the PJs were sent to extract the pilots, while the other circled the perimeter to support the PJs.

Once the pilots and PJs were loaded into the helicopter, the aircraft took off and headed home signaling the completion of the operation.

“This joint exercise was a success,” said Sedillo. “Exercising personnel recovery is an important function to test and there are always lessons learned. The 31st Fighter Wing is unique in its placement, diverse teams and [aircraft]. We are able to support personnel recovery organically and complete all the functions. I look forward to honing those skills and adapting what we learned in order to prepare for future operations with ITAF and NATO forces.”

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