Nebraska Guard Infantry trains with Air Force on survival tactics

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lisa Crawford
  • Joint Force Headquarters - Nebraska National Guard

YUTAN, Neb. - Soldiers with the Nebraska Army National Guard’s Company B, 2-134th Infantry (Airborne), conducted survival, evasion, resistance and escape training Feb. 3-4 at the Mead Training Site near Yutan.

Six U.S Air Force instructors with the 55th Operations Support Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, trained the 59 Soldiers.

“Including the 55th OSS made a difference in the quality of training provided because they brought a unique type of training to our table,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ben Heimes, Company B readiness noncommissioned officer. “Soldiers were provided with specific tactics on survival and taught how to accomplish the mission of being put into a rescue scenario.”

The training was intended to focus on arctic environment survival. But as the weather warmed and the snow melted, it shifted to basic cold weather survival.

Soldiers built different types of shelters, used snares and traps, and procured materials to build fires and produce a smoke signal for air-to-ground recovery. Through the hands-on training, Soldiers learned how to survive and evade in different environments.

“We learned how to effectively prepare ourselves for isolating events and plan for a potential rescue operation,” Heimes said. “This type of training empowers Soldiers with the skills for survival when the unexpected happens.”

This is the second recent engagement where SERE specialists from the 55th OSS have teamed with Nebraska National Guard Soldiers to conduct training. In November, the 55th OSS SERE Program conducted hoist proficiency training with Nebraska Army National Guard’s Co. G, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, using UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

“This initial integration with the Nebraska Army National Guard has already opened numerous opportunities for our SERE specialists to integrate into future personnel recovery exercises and events together,” Master Sgt. Clifton Cleveland, 55th OSS SERE program superintendent, said after the November hoist training.