Monday, February 28, 2011

SERE Training

James Nicholas "Nick" Rowe (February 8, 1938 – April 21, 1989) was a United States Army officer and one of only thirty-four American prisoners of war to escape captivity during the Vietnam War.  Colonel Rowe was credited with developing the rigorous Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training program taught to high-risk military personnel (such as Special Forces and aircrews) and the U.S. military doctrine which institutionalizes these techniques and principles to be followed by captured personnel.  In 1989, Rowe was killed by a street gang in the Philippines called the Alex Boncavao Brigade.

SERE training takes place at four levels:
  • Level A: Entry level training. These are the Code of Conduct mandatory classes taken by all at induction (recruit training and OCS). All service personnel get this basic training annually.
Level B: For those operating or expected to operate forward of the division rear boundary and up to the forward line of own troops (FLOT). Normally limited to aircrew of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Level B focuses on survival and evasion, with resistance in terms of initial capture.
  • Level C: For troops at a high risk of capture and whose position, rank or seniority make them vulnerable to greater than average exploitation efforts by any captor. Level C focuses on resistance in terms of prison camps.
Navy/Marine Corps
Level A is taught to recruits and candidates in Officer Candidate School and the Recruit Depots, or under professional military education.
Level B at the Marine Corps Mountain Warefare Training Center, Bridgeport, CA, and the North Training Area, Camp Consalves, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
Level C is held at Portwmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine at the Navy Remote Training Site, Rangley, and at NAS North Island, CA, at the Navy Remote Training Site, Warner Springs. This installation provides 'Code of Conduct' that is necessary for Recon Marines, MARSOC Marines, Navy SEALS, enlisted Navy and Marine Aircrewman, Naval Aviators, Naval Flight Officers, Naval Flight Surgeons, and Navy SWCC. As the "eyes" and "ears" of the commander, they carry knowledge of sensitive battlefield information.
The training encompasses those basic skills necessary for worldwide survival, facilitating search and rescue efforts, evading capture by hostile forces. It is based on and reinforces the values expressed in the Code of Conduct while maintaining an appropriate balance of sound educational methodology and realistic/stressful training scenarios.
Additional survival training in Level C Code of Conduct may include the five-day Peacetime Detention and Hostage Survival (PDAHS) course. This training provides the skills to survive captivity by a hostile government or terrorist cell during peacetime.
SERE insignia - West Coast Navy

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