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Combat Survival Training

Combat Survival Trsaining exercise

Each summer, more than 1,000 U.S. Air Force Academy rising sophomore cadets learn skills needed to survive in an austere environment. Combat Survival Training teaches medical care, food preparation, aircraft signaling and navigation essential for survival.

The program is led by Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) specialists and cadet cadre at Jacks Valley and Kettle Lakes at the Academy and Fort Carson’s Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site over the course of 21 days.

Additionally, the course provides a leadership improvement opportunity for the cadre leading the program. Cadet cadre receive approximately 10 days, 8 to 10 hours a day, of training from SERE specialists on the specific skills they will teach cadet trainees.

The course replaces a legacy program from the early 2000s where graduates completed the survival and evasion training portions of SERE at the Academy and moved to the aircrew-based escape and resistance training at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.

The program develops warrior ethos, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork and organizational management skills for the cadet students and cadre.