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Survival of the fittest

Master Sgt. Tammy Freeman, 107th Aircrew Flight Equipment Squadron, instructs Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Obrochta, 136th Airlift Wing Squadron, on the proper technique of deploying signal devices. Both were part of a biannual training exercise that teaches aircrew water survival skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brandy Fowler)

Master Sgt. Tammy Freeman, 107th Aircrew Flight Equipment Squadron, instructs Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Obrochta, 136th Airlift Wing Squadron, on the proper technique of deploying signal devices. Both were part of a biannual training exercise that teaches aircrew water survival skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brandy Fowler)

Members of the 136th Airlift Squadron spent the day on Lake Ontario taking part in a biannual training exercise that teaches aircrew water survival skills.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Derrick Harris)

Members of the 136th Airlift Squadron spent the day on Lake Ontario taking part in a biannual training exercise that teaches aircrew water survival skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Derrick Harris)

Niagara Falls, New York -- During the August Unit training Assembly flight crew members spent the day on Lake Ontario practicing water survival skills. This biannual training incorporates the essential skills needed to survive in the unlikely event that they find themselves stranded in a body of water.
Members of the 107th Aircrew Flight Equipment Squadron supplied all the gear and refresher training needed to ensure that aircrew from the 136th Airlift Squadron are properly trained to react to an in-water emergency.
While on the ground aircrew practiced deploying signal devices, such as smoke flares, beacons and flare guns. After a short ride compliments of the United States Coast Guard, Station Niagara, aircrew deployed their life preservers prior to entering the water. Upon entering the water aircrew took a short swim to the awaiting life raft were they mastered entry techniques and deployment of the protective canopy.
"This is good for them to come out here to use the equipment, use the rafts, use the flares," said Staff Sgt. Sammy Vazquez, 107th Aircrew Flight Equipment member. "They get comfortable using the equipment they have in hand," he added.