SERE

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#1
Hi all,

Happy New Year, I haven't been on for a while.

Having recently read 'Armed Action' by Lt Cdr Newton, I have been intrigued by the 2 week SERE course. I was wondering, is it still as difficult as he makes it out to be, 18 years since he did his.

Thanks

S
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
#2
I can pretty much guarantee that you aren't going to get an answer to that question for reasons which should be fairly obvious! The course has changed considerably in 18 years and it's not meant to be a jolly so you can safely assume that yes, it is.
 
#3
Sierra_Hotel said:
Hi all,

Happy New Year, I haven't been on for a while.

Having recently read 'Armed Action' by Lt Cdr Newton, I have been intrigued by the 2 week SERE course. I was wondering, is it still as difficult as he makes it out to be, 18 years since he did his.
Thanks

S
Here fishy fishy!!

:nemo: :nemo:
 
#4
Quote from Amazon book review by another guy claiming to have been Naval aircrew on Lynx;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Armed-Action-Skies-Naval-Squadron/dp/customer-reviews/0755316010

"Overall, the book reads very well and is a real page turner. The only criticism I have of it is his description of the Combat survival (E&E and R2I), which unfortunately does not paint a 100% true picture of what happens on the course and is, in fact, subject to some embellishment. It's a shame as the Survival course is an ordeal (albeit enjoyable and very rewarding) and needs no padding out, it is true what the author says about it being the toughest Survival course that regular forces undergo, not quite up to the beasting that special forces get, but very similar.
My opinion, is it as difficult as it was? Yes, with the qualifier that as ChiefTiff describes, some elements of the course have changed over time, evolving with experience and needs relevant to front line, like facing enemy who are not remotely interested in Geneva convention etc. Equipment has got better, like reverse osmosis pumps, survival straws, gore-tex kit, thinsulate, rations etc, but the basic things don't change, shelter, location, navigation, cold, wet, sleep deprivation and being shouted at all still work like they did.

Is it as difficult as he describes, well I guess I'll have to read his book to find out. It is slightly different than other prone to capture training, but the course takes people from all arms of the service and indeed NATO, as do the other courses that involve more walking etc. There has been some amalgamation since the early 90's, esp in the Joint SF, but you can bet standards haven't slipped in the transition. The Tufty club it is not.
 
#6
One of the things that made me wonder if it had changed was the demand for pilots. My friends daughter recently joined the Navy as an Air EngO, but said that many people on her course were asked if they were interested in becoming a pilot instead. I would have thought reports of the SERE course would be enough to put some people off the job.
 

airy-fairy

Lantern Swinger
#7
Most of what you hear about sere is bull. Its a pretty simple course with a few days in the field with no food. The guys who struggle on it are either megga unfit or are not used to field work and basics like looking after your feet. It is definatly nothing like what SF guys go through.
 
#8
In total it's only about 4 days on your own in the field nowadays. People usually lose a bit of weight on it, because of living off squirrels and all that. Never heard of anyone failing it.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#11
I've seen people fail before they even start! They do(did) a fitness test at the start of the classroom phase and just before they go into the woods. People have failed that, astonishing all that way then their aircrew career judders to a halt. People also often gave up - its amazing how immersed they got even though they knew it was only a short course. Lack of food and tiredness work a treat.

The SMAC 424 (can't remember if thats the right code) isn't that intense. Its meant to give students an appreciation of what is required and what could happen in a survival situation. It was an aircrew course but also open to individals who had an increased chance of capture i.e. clearance divers, booties.

The RTI phase and Tactical questioning is conducted at a much reduced level than the SF students experience. Even the emphasis has all changed, in the early 90's it was all about the big 5 questions and everything else was "I Cannot answer that question" - cue slap! Now the approach is much more aligned to withholding information until its no longer of any tactical value. For SF they will have their own parameters.

Those fine individuals at the SERE centre in Sultan will tell all.......
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
#12
The course is not designed as a pass/fail course, the idea is to prepare candidates for the worst, I do however know of at least one person who was "invited" to re-attend after the resistance to interrogation phase.

I will let this run but would remind all that post each course every person involved is briefed and still required to re-affirm the Official Secret Act so no details please. :thumright:
 
#13
chieftiff said:
The course is not designed as a pass/fail course, the idea is to prepare candidates for the worst, I do however know of at least one person who was "invited" to re-attend after the resistance to interrogation phase.

I will let this run but would remind all that post each course every person involved is briefed and still required to re-affirm the Official Secret Act so no details please. :thumright:
I fear the Official Secrets Act is no longer enforceable save in certain extreme cases or have I been wrongly informed?
 
#14
stalwart said:
I fear the Official Secrets Act is no longer enforceable save in certain extreme cases or have I been wrongly informed?
You've been told what you need to know. I could tell you more, but then I'd have to shred you. :thumright:
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
#17
Sierra_Hotel said:
Just remembered, Armed Action says that the interrogation phase is 36 hours? Is that still the case?
It's a book, you read it, you either believe it or not: Now get on with your life.
 
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