Airmen share waves of knowledge during water survival and emergency training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Condit
  • 189th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 189th Operations Group participated in ground training Oct. 1, 2016, at Lake Ouachita, Arkansas. The training was key to the success, safety and vitality of the Air National Guard's Airmen and mission. While there are many things that keep one busy
throughout the work day, training is an essential element to the accomplishment of the 189th Airlift Wing's mission.

"The purpose of this training is to enhance knowledge and proficiency," said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Stoll, the 189th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment flight chief. "With these classes, aircrew get a refresher of all the equipment prepositioned on aircraft or issued to them. They get to go over the what, where, why and how of familiarizing oneself with the equipment and using it."

Stoll explained that while each unit must maintain their knowledge-based capabilities to serve as subject matter experts in their respective field, the 189th OG must ensure they are prepared for the best and worst of situations. During October's unit training assembly, more than 65 Arkansas National Guard members from the 189th OG, 189th OSS and the 154th Training Squadron participated in water survival training, non-combat survival training, self-aid buddy care and emergency parachute training.

The training, conducted at a designated Arkansas National Guard area in southwest Arkansas, ensured that every Airman was capable and able to respond to flight emergencies and maintain composure during stressful situations. The training consisted of aircrew flight equipment demonstrations, life raft demonstrations and basic first aid training as well as ensured camaraderie and morale was present.

"I honestly believe one of the biggest impacts this training has on the 189th AW as a whole is morale," Stoll said. "These are required refreshers. We could teach most of these in an auditorium with a PowerPoint presentation, but we don't. We as a Guard family choose to go to the lake and practice."

Stoll also explained that with an increase in operations tempo, the need to offer a more reliable schedule for aircrew and instructors is critical. The training also provided aircrew flight equipment technicians who are interested in becoming instructors, the opportunity to
practice more throughout the year.