A team of survival specialists answered a call from Norway to help with training for F-35 pilots. The team of Royal Navy and RAF personnel from RAF Marham in Norfolk travelled to Orland Air Base in Norway to join their NATO partner for a training package. The Norwegian Air Force called on the UK after visiting the Lightning Force at Marham for training aircrew on how to survive if their aircraft was downed.
Marham’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape team, which comprised PO Matthew Williams, Cpl Richard Fuller, AB Brendan Baldwin, SAC Allan Wighton and SAC Susan Whyte, trained 24 pilots during their time at the base north of Trondheim.
The training consisted of a simulated brief on parachuting from the F-35, moving on to a dry training brief. This included elements of the equipment used to save their lives if they were to eject from the aircraft.
The team also discussed rescue methods and how to use the equipment provided to survive.
Following the briefings, the pilots were despatched into a swimming pool and had to use their life rafts in various simulated scenarios to replicate what could happen at sea.
“The Norwegian Air Force were extremely impressed with the training delivered,” said PO Williams. “They commented saying this is the best survival training they had ever had and that the training we provided would be the difference between life and death.