USA - Washington - USAF escape and evasion course.
In pouring rain, United States Air Force pilots stand like canmouflaged statues in the undergrowth near Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington. They are listening to a USAF survival instructor giving them advice about another challenge they are about to face, a few hundred yards ahead in the woods, so they listen intently in the saturatedconditions. They stand motionless, green figures in a green maze of foliage, wearing waterproof cagoules covering their backpacks which are shiny as the rain trickles down. They look like hunchbacks of the forest. The week-long survival course is held at the military facilities around Fairchild where the Air Force conducts a survival, escape and evasion course which combat pilots need to pass before rejoining their units for real-time warfare. This part of the lecture is held in the forest and forms part of an extensive physical and psychological assessment for young aviators on active service. In the future any one of them may be shot down behind enemy lines and need to use the lessons passed-on here to help facilitate their rescue by US forces. One pilot who passed this course in 1991, himself a Spokane-born boy, was F-16 pilot Scott O'Grady. He put his skills learned here to the test while evading Serb forces before being airlifted to safety and a hero's Presidential welcome.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download