Members Complete Over Water Survival Course at U.S. Coast Guard Station Clearwater
Thursday, August 31, 2017
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Photo Caption:
Civil Air Patrol aircrew participating in water survival school. Photo Credits: Maj Sam Chiodo


By Lt. Col. Robert Maxey, Hillsborough One Senior Sq., Florida Wing
Clearwater, Fla.--

On Saturday, August 19, Group 3 held an Extended Over Water Survival (WS) pool session. Eight participants completed the requirements to earn this certification, which include classroom training, an aircraft egress exercise, on online test, and a practical exercise in a pool. U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater provided the pool and a rescue swimmer, also known as an Aviation Safety Technician (AST).

All aircrew personnel (mission pilots, observers, and scanners) who will be operating outside of gliding distance from shore are required to complete this training every three years. This is particularly useful in the Tampa area as crossing Tampa Bay while staying below Tampa Internationalís Class B airspace means you are outside of gliding distance to land much of the trip.

Safety is one of CAPís top priorities, so this training is critical because using the techniques included in this training offers an expected 88% survival rate in the event of a ditching (water landing). Practicing the skills in a pool, wearing a flight suit, boots, and a personal flotation device (PFD) helps reinforce esprit de corps as aircrews work together to demonstrate treading water, swimming (together) 50+ feet, and climbing into a raft, which is harder than it looks. Most importantly, participants are able to experience the power of a PFD, particularly when their boots fill with water and feel more like lead than leather.

Group 3 hosted participants from the Legislative Squadron and Group 5 in addition to our local, Group 3, members. All participants completed the program successfully and demonstrated that we are proficient and ready for over water missions. This is just one of the many training programs Civil Air Patrol uses to stay proficient and to mitigate the risks inherent in flying our missions for America.

Article Information
Reviewed by: Florida Wing Public Affairs
Syndicated to: Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7, Florida Feature
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Forceís Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrolís 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
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