Why Now?
Sunday, September 11, 2005
  Survival School
Part of earning your Combat Crew badge was attending survival schools.

The basic school was at Fairchild AFB outside of Spokane, Washington. You learned the basics of escape and evasion: map reading, compass use, unarmed combat, camping, etc. The testing was practical, in the Cascade Mountains with limited food and 50 miles to cover.

Before entering the POW camp you were required to crawl through an obstacle course with things blowing up all around you. In the POW camp you were subjected to duress.

Then there was sea survival at MacDill AFB on Tampa Bay - you got very wet, and the equipment was designed not to work flawlessly, so you could learn to improvise.

For jungle survival you went to the Philippines to get chased all over the place by a local tribe [Negritos] hired to make your life miserable.

Arctic survival at Eielson AFB, near Fairbanks, Alaska provided camping to -40°.

After going through it you supplemented what the Air Force provided with purchases from camping stores.

They ought send FEMA's management to survival schools.

We could drop a mock-up roof in a swimming pool and let them experience life in an attic while the water rises.

Maybe put them in jon boats anchored out in Lake Pontchartrain for a few days without food and water.

We could use a hog factory barn to simulate conditions in the SuperDome, followed by a couple of days in the yard of an Alabama maximum security prison, during August, without food or water.

After completing all those things I would load them onto buses and take them to one of the current recovery shelters with only the clothes on their backs and nothing in their pockets to experience what evacuees have to go through.

After you go through survival school you have a feeling for how difficult things can be and why people want a rapid response.


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