Oregon Air National Guard Fighter pilots assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing spent the day training in the Columbia River as part of their biannual water survival training requirement.
The training included pilots being dragged by jet skis to simulate the impact of being pulled around in the water while attached to an open parachute. Additionally, they learned how to escape from underneath their parachute while in open water. Swimming lessons concluded when pilots jumped from a training boat on the river and swam nearly 100 feet to shore.
Oregon Air National Guard Lt. Col. Nicholas Rutgers, 123rd Fighter Squadron Commander said the training aimed to simulate an authentic environment for flight crew members. “We try to make it as realistic as possible, so being out on the Columbia (River) is about as close as we can get to executing off the coast of Oregon. It's a lot smoother than we could expect in the Pacific, but we are getting a great training opportunity today.”
The 125th Special Tactics Squadron conducted the training today with the assistance of the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 304th Rescue Squadron, both stationed at the Portland Air National Guard Base in Portland, Ore.
Source: Oregon Military Department