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Sheppard Clinic Town Hall Meeting

When: April 1, 2019

Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m

Location: Assembly Area - Basement of the Medical Clinic

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News & Events

Sheppard Clinic MTF News

Sheppard hosts water survival emergency training

An airman is helped with putting her gear on, before she is pulled by a rope and drug through a pool as part of a training exercise.

Airman 1st Class Jordan Turnbaugh, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace physiology technician, secures her harness during the water survival refresher course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 17, 2018. Turnbaugh is simulating being dragged through the water by her chute and must release her harness to break free or risk drowning. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio)

An airman is pulled by her harness and drug through the water as part of the water survival emergency training at Sheppard Air Force Base.

Airman 1st Class Zaria Hopkins, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace physiology technician, gets pulled by her harness during the water survival emergency training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, August 17, 2018. Hopkins is simulating being dragged by her chute underwater. She must then undue her harness quickly or risk drowning. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio)

Two airman jump over a swimming pilot as they drape a parachute over her as part of the second scenario in the Water Survival Emergency Training.

Airman 1st Class Jordan Turnbaugh, wearing helmet, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace physiology technician, wades in the water as two Airmen drape a parachute over her at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 17, 2018. Turnbaugh is participating in the water survival emergency training that simulates different types of situations that may occur during emergency landings in the water. This scenario simulates the pilot's parachute engulfing the. They must escape it or risk sinking with it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio)

An airman gasps for air as they escape the parachute, during the exercise where a parachute is engulfed over the pilot in the water survival emergency training.

Airman Cristopher Jackson, outside chute, 80th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, watches Airman1st Class Zaria Hopkins, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace physiology technician, during the parachute simulation at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 17, 2018. Although the parachute is designed to be able to be breathed through, the participants would want to get out of there as quickly as possible. To add to the fear of sinking along with it, participants also agreed that the claustrophobia it induces is a factor that could add to the panic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio)

An airman sims towards a raft while wearing full aircrew gear.

Airman 1st Class Jordan Turnbaugh, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace physiology technician, swims toward a one-man life raft during the water survival emergency training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 17, 2018. The one-man life raft is the last part of the training which the pilot or aircrew member must climb aboard with all their gear and then survive until pick up. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio)

An airman smiles as she relaxes on a water raft after just completing the water survival emergency training at Sheppard Air Force Base.

Airman 1st Class Jordan Turnbaugh, left, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace physiology technician, talks to Randy Brice, 80th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment supervisor, at the end of the water survival refresher course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 17, 2018. Turnbaugh has succesfully completed the three simulations and is currently "awaiting pick-up." The training consited of the water drag, the parachute and ending with getting aboard the one-man life raft. Each participant is able to do the training as much times as needed to be confident enough to have these skills if ever needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Tenorio)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –The sounds of twin turbine engines have caused many a fighting soldiers fear, but what may be scarier is the sound of those engines failing.

Pilots run the risk of bringing high fire power to the battle, but also run the risk of being the biggest target because of that. Thus pilots must be ready for the unfortunate event when they may be shot down and have to eject. Something no pilot would want to go through, but must be ready for.

On Aug. 17, 2018, pilots and aircrew were required to attend Water Survival Emergency Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas. The course is meant to improve awareness and get the pilots ready in case of an emergency situation.

“Every three years, we have to come out and go through this training to refresh on water survival,” said Lt. Col Matthew Manning, 80th Flying Training Wing chief of safety. “This makes sure that we’re current on the skills, should we need to use them.”

The pilots were subjected to three scenarios, which were likely to happen if bailing out over the ocean or other large bodies of water.

First was the water drag, a simulation of landing in water, but the chute is carried off by the wind. The pilot is dragged underwater and must release their harness or risk drowning.

The second scenario simulates the parachute landing on top of the pilot, trapping them. Although the parachute is designed to be breathed through, the pilots must develop methods of escaping before the parachute sinks along with them.

The final challenge was to get aboard the one-man life raft, which Manning said might sound easy, but when you have your life preserver and all your gear still, adding the fact they are wet, it is more physically demanding.

“The benefit of this training is to have those skills second hand should you need them,” Manning said. “It’s training you hope you’ll never have to use, but every time I do it, I gain more confidence. In the skills, in the techniques to get out of that. It is valuable training.”

Having to bail out and landing in the vast nothingness of the sea can fracture even the most stubborn of minds. That is why Manning and his team opened up the pool and ran simulations for as long as the pilots needed to make sure they are ready for anything.

 “That’s the nice part about being out here, it’s really a failure-free environment, because a failure in the real world would probably mean death,” Manning said. “They want to get you comfortable and if you’re not comfortable with it they’ll let you go as many times as you want until you are comfortable.”

Being able to train and practice as many times is thanks to the aircrew flight equipment team at Sheppard, who host this training each of the past three years and run the simulations. Manning had a few words to thank the Aircrew Flight Equipment Team who hosted this year’s training.

“Usually, each base has its own type of training. Our aircrew flight equipment team has been great to set this up for us,” he said. “Team Sheppard has done a great job setting this up, and made it easy for us to get requalified.”