Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Discovery: "Surviving the Cut": "Air Force Pararescue"

The Discovery Channel on Wed. Aug. 25 aired an episode of “Surviving the Cut”, this one being the Extended Training Day for Air Force Pararescue. The motto for the group is “so another may live.”

Less than 10% of airmen survive the entire course at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. But the climax of the event is the 21 ETD, a marathon of events, including many water events, which results in many more washouts for “failure to train.” The most dreaded event may be the “buddy breathing event”, which would simulate the extreme stress of rescuing someone from high seas.

The show described with it is like to pass out and to drown, going hypoxic first. Sebastian Junger had provided the same description in his 1998 book “The Perfect Storm.”

Later, the men have to demonstrate actual rescues under combat conditions.

14 of 23 individuals survived the day that started at 2 AM and ended at 11 PM.

They still face two years of training until they actually join the pararescue team in combat. Are females admitted?

What unit cohesion!

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