Friday, September 2, 2011

Combat Water Survival Training

Let me just start off with saying that the physical aspect of Air Force is easy peasy compared to Army.  LOL

 So to end off my second week in ROTC, we had Combat Water Survival Training (CWST) this morning.  Now I knew we were going to be doing stuff in a pool with our ACUs on and I was actually looking forward to it.  Well let me tell you now that this is not one of the easier trainings we have to do this semester.  Land Navigation is a piece of cake compared to this stuff. Anywho let me explain what CWST is.  It is a requirement of all ROTC cadets.  The first part is to jump from 3 meters into water blindfolded.  Once you hit the water you can remove the blindfold and swim out.  The second part we have to demonstrate the removal of our gear while submerged.  If your head comes above the water before your gear is off you have to do it again.  The third part is to swim 25 meters (remember this is all with full ACUs).  The forth part is to swim 15 meters with your gear while holding your rifle above water.  And lastly (does it sound tough yet???) we had to tread in water for FIVE minutes.  Yeah treading in water doesn't seem to hard but after you've done the first four parts, your uniform feels pretty heavy in that water.

3 meter jump blindfolded

So the 3 meter jump was pretty easy.  I will admit I got kinda of nervous as I blindly walked off the diving board into "unknown" waters.  But that was the easiest part I'd say.  The second part, removing the gear was pretty okay.  As soon as they pushed me into the water I repositioned my arms to be inside the straps so all I had to do is extend my arms upward and the gear fell right off.  The third part I did was the 15 meter full gear swim.  This part I failed the first time.  I got half way and swallowed water and I panicked.  I immediately let go of my rifle and flailed over to the side of the pool gasping for breath.  It really isn't an easy task when your weight is almost doubling with soaked ACUs gear with full canteens AND a rifle.  Luckily we weren't allowed with our boots in the pool (school rules) and I was able to use my light tennis shoes but with any shoes period it's hard because it's adding weight to your body.  The main reason why I failed is because my swim technique was off.  When swimming with full gear you have to be as parallel to the water as possible to shift the weight around evenly.  You also have to take big breaths.  The more air in your body the better you'll float.  I practiced this technique with no gear during the 25 meter swim.  Once I finished the 25 meter swim I came back to do the 15 meter gear and rifle swim again.  My technique was great the first half of the swim and then  I couldn't hold my rifle up any longer.  BUT I didn't give up.  I still had my rifle in hand but just wasn't above the water.  I trucked it out and got across to the 15 meter line.  (I seriously used all I had and it was written all across my face lol).

jumping in for the 15 meter swim
Removing gear while submerged

 By this time my body was so exhausted and ready to hit the showers and take a nap!  But nope!  Still had to do the 5 minute tread.  I thought I was gonna pass out on this one.  Luckily though we were aloud to float as well.  I made through the whole 5 minutes because of the wonderful float technique!  Thank goodness!  We ended our PT session with 10 pushups and 10 situps.  (I think this was by far the easiest part of the morning even with being super exhausted with all the water exercises.)  Many people had to redo certain parts.  Some even failed the parts completely.  I think I did pretty good for my first time.  Anywho just thought I'd give you guys a taste of CWST.  We will be doing this once a month.  I don't think I will be as "excited" as I was this time but I am looking forward to getting better at these exercises so that I only do each just once lol.  The pictures provided are not from my company but I found them online so you can see some of the stuff we did this morning.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

15 meter swim
treading water for 5 minutes

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