Water Survival Tips from USAFA

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COLORADO SPRINGS – While not every cadet at the Air Force Academy becomes a pilot after graduation they all have to fly before leaving the academy but maybe not the way you think.

FOX21’s Meteorologist Matt Meister took the fall to see what the program is all about.

Every cadet has to go through training at the aquatics program in their sophomore year. The course is designed for cadets with little exposure to aquatics or those needing work on specific swimming endurance. The cadets typically need more time to acclimate to swimming, the course is 16 lessons.

Entry into the class is determined by a student’s aquatic ability assessment, a 250 yard timed swim and input from aquatics instructors. The first eight lessons focus on technique. The final eight lessons focus on building swimming endurance with continued work on technique.

Cadets will be introduced to survival skills in preparation for the 200 level aquatics course. Cadets are encouraged to move on to regular water survival. However, more typically, they move on to Basic Water Survival for their 200 level aquatics.

This course continues the development of the basic swimmer and teaches cadets basic aquatic survival skills that last a lifetime. These survival methods serve officers well throughout their careers. The class provides sufficient aerobic and anaerobic activities that challenge the cadets to maintain an above-average level of fitness while having fun through aquatics.

Cadets learn to save their own lives and assist others in a water emergency, survive in the water for long periods of time, and build confidence to swim long distances. Moreover, cadets experience situations that develop self-confidence, emotional control, persistence and courage.

A variety of skills challenge cadets to move beyond their current skill and comfort levels. Cadets are evaluated in each one of the skills taught throughout the course.

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