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A TEAM of tradespeople from 1 Airfield Opera-
tional Support Squadron's Airfield Engineering
Flight has constructed a new Forward Operating
Base (FOB) for the Combat Survival Training
The new facility replaces two previously used
training areas which were damaged by Cyclone
Yasi earlier this year.
A team of up to 20 electricians, carpenters,
plumbers and plant operators spent several
months in the Townsville Field Training Area
establishing water storage, field power generation,
concreting, a classroom, several offices, improve-
ment of the roads and a large carport.
The FOB was handed over last month.
CPL Melanie Schinkel
The Air Force's Combat Survival
Training School (CSTS) has
made significant changes to
ADF aircrew survival courses
over the past 18 months to incorporate
the latest techniques and procedures.
CSTS, based at RAAF Base
Townsville, offers four survival cours-
es: Aircrew Environmental Survival,
Aircrew Combat Survival, Cold
Weather Survival and Unit Combat
Survival Officers' Course.
The school also supplements unit-
specific Force Preparation Training.
All of these courses are available
to ADF personnel but two of them are
mandatory training for ADF aircrew.
CO CSTS SQNLDR Davin
Augustine said ADF aircrew typically
completed both the mandatory aircrew
environmental and combat survival
courses back-to-back in three weeks.
"The environmental survival
course prepares the students to ditch
anywhere in a peacetime environment.
It teaches them how to survive in sea,
arid and jungle environments, both
as part of a team and individually,"
SQNLDR Augustine said.
"Realistically, after a crash, given
that Australia is so big and its popula-
tion density is so low, there is a chance
aircrew could spend hours or days wait-
ing for a rescue party. The environmen-
tal course teaches them how to take care
of themselves at the crash site while
they are awaiting rescue.
"This is a fairly arduous and chal-
lenging course, and the students typi-
cally operate outside of their comfort
zones. At the end of it they feel more
confident about surviving in isolated
and austere environments."
Once the students complete the
two-week Aircrew Environmental
Survival Course they move on to the
week-long Aircrew Combat Survival
Course, which requires them to apply
their learned skills in a simulated non-
"The Aircrew Combat Survival
Course introduces an enemy pres-
ence and teaches the students how to
survive in a hostile setting," SQNLDR
"This course isn't about putting a
dagger in your teeth and engaging the
enemy -- it's about learning how to
evade the enemy and repatriate with
friendly forces. We continue to incor-
porate contemporary methods that are
being used in operational theatres from
around the globe into this course."
He said crash site defence training was
a recent addition to the combat survival
"CSTS has never offered training
on defending a crash site before; now
PTI SGT Darren Pay, who has
worked as an instructor at CSTS for
the past two years, sees his job as
helping students to acclimatise to
the hot and humid conditions found
"We conduct PT regularly
throughout the course," SGT Pay
"I don't make the students par-
ticipate. They need to develop their
own tenacity and recognise that they
can push themselves beyond their
perceived limits because one day
they may need to quickly shift into
that gear to survive.
"The body is capable of more
than what the brain thinks it is. The
last thing you want is the rescue
party finding you dead because you
gave up too easily. These courses
teach our personnel how to endure
when they think they can't go on.
"But remember, there's a big
difference between perceived and
real risk. Student safety is always
our number one priority in train-
New FOB after Yasi
it is one of the many training oppor-
tunities in the combat survival course.
We recognise that it's an important
task that some aviators or their pas-
sengers may be forced to do."
Once aircrew students complete
both the environmental and combat
survival courses, they are deemed
ready to deploy on operations,
although they are encouraged to also
complete the Cold Weather Survival
Course at Mt Hotham in Victoria.
The final two courses CSTS
offers are the Unit Combat Survival
Officers' Course, designed to train
unit-specific survival trainers, and
Force Preparation Training for units
preparing for operations overseas.
For more information, visit the CSTS
website on the DRN at http://intranet.
September 15, 2011
CSTS incorporates latest techniques and procedures into courses
Finding that little bit extra in the heat
ATTRACTING ATTENTION: Creating coloured smoke with a fire to attract
a rescue party during the Aircrew Environmental Survival Course.
Photo: PO Andrew Watson
PULLING TOGETHER: Course No. 21 conducts an arduous physical
training activity during the Combat Survival Training School's Aircrew
Environmental Survival Course at RAAF Base Townsville.
Photo: PO Andrew Watson
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