From where you’re sitting right now, the Earth might seem like a comfortable and forgiving place. But some parts of the world necessitate some of the most extreme means of survival, and the United States Air Force trains its members to survive in those environments just in case of an unexpected aircraft crash in one of those regions.
Some of the most extreme terrains include the bone-chilling cold of the North and South Poles, the intense heat of the world’s largest deserts, the seclusion of some of the planet’s largest forested regions, and the unforgiving tides of the world’s oceans. Without proper preparation, these environments can be deadly.
When an aircraft goes down in unknown territory, Air Force personnel are trained for the worst-case scenario and must learn to establish a shelter, hunt for food, be prepared for long trekking distances, and understand how to evade pursuit. In extreme conditions, this means understanding how to protect the body and maintain calmness in extreme panic situations.
Some of the critical skills that are taught include: building a shelter, starting a fire, understanding plant edibility, hunting and food consumption, water acquisition and purification, and mental and physical endurance. Everything must be established quickly to ensure survival, at least for the time it takes for rescue crews to get to the crash site and recover the personnel after a crash.