12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathon Alexander (center), Apache pilot, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, smiles after successfully completing underwater escape procedures during dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chief Warrant Officer 2 Louis Manino and Cheif Warrant Officer 2 Dwayne Hawkins, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, prepare to be submerged and conduct underwater escape procedures as part of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade are submerged as part of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade come together for a photo following the completion of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade sit with their life preservers inflated and listen to instructions at dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Capt. Gabrielle Hildebrand) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade prepares their gear during dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL

BREMERHAVEN, Germany – Roughly 30 U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade participated in dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, in Bremerhaven, Germany.

The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water.

“Today we’re conducting “dunker training” in support of our over-water training,” said 1st. Lt. Adrian Rangel, attack planner with 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (attack reconnaissance), 12 CAB.

12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade help each other board a life raft as part of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade prepare to swim towards a life raft as part of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade swim towards a life raft as part of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade listen to instructions during dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL

Dunker training is necessary to teach aircraft personnel how to successfully exit a submerging aircraft as quickly and safely as possible.

“The students come and learn how to escape from the helicopter underwater, behavior for the ditching before and after, and step-by-step [instructions] on what you have to do to leave the helicopter,” explained Thorsten Lieb, a senior instructor for RelyOn Nutec.

Before beginning the hands-on portion of training in the water, students attended a classroom lecture.

“We do a classroom portion because, before we go into the water, it is very important to teach all of the theory, how to behave in a helicopter, what’s important for an underwater escape,” said “Woody,” a freelance instructor for RelyOn Nutec.

According to “Woody,” the real survival challenge starts when personnel successfully exit the helicopter.

During the day-long training, Soldiers took part in sea survival theory, which includes instruction on how to behave in the water and how to use the survival equipment correctly, “Woody” said.

U.S. Army Capt. Gabrielle Hildebrand, public affairs officer for 12 CAB, described how she escaped, and that her first experience of dunker training was “exciting and terrifying at the same time.”

12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade listen to instructions prior to entering the pool at dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade participate in dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Capt. Gabrielle Hildebrand) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade resurfaces after being submerged as part of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL
12 CAB Soldiers get dunked in Bremerhaven
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade simulates being hoisted from a life raft as part of dunker training (helicopter over-water survival training) from October 18-19, Bremerhaven, Germany. The training was conducted at the RelyOn Nutec training center and is designed to teach anyone traveling on or over water, how to react before, during, and after a helicopter becomes submerged in water. 12CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Once you're inverted, you unclip, and with one hand on the window, you know where you're headed, and so your body wants to go out, which makes it so much easier,” explained Hildebrand. “The moment I hit the water, my body tensed up because I had that fear, and because it was my first time, it’s almost like time slowed down.”

According to Rangel, the importance of over-water training is essential for future operations.

“Especially in the future, whenever we conduct operations that may require us to do something like that [ditch a helicopter over water], we need to be ready, and we need to be trained,” Rangel said.

According to one of the participants, U.S. Army Capt. Si Yi, Bravo Company commander, 1-3rd ARB, 12 CAB, the training was top quality.

“Because of the training they gave us, everything slowed down; I felt calm,” Yi said. “The techniques they teach allow us to be safe no matter what, whether it’s daytime or nighttime, absolutely great training.”

12th CAB is a team of disciplined warfighting professionals trusted to execute precision aviation operations. Ensuring Soldiers successfully complete dunker training is one of the many ways the Griffin Brigade constantly improves their readiness to support missions across the European Command area of operations.

Learn more about 12th CAB

Follow 12th CAB on Facebook