Published March 28, 2013
Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialists are the only DoD specialty specifically trained, equipped, organized, and employed to conduct SERE operations for the duration of their career. They are the DoD's subject matter experts to prepare and support personnel designated as High Risk of Isolation. SERE Specialists are members of the Guardian Angel weapon system, focused on Personnel Recovery (PR) and provide support to the five PR execution tasks; Report, Locate, Support, Recover, and Reintegrate. SERE Specialist duties range from instruction of formal courses to direct operational unit support at Active Duty, Guard and Reserve locations in CONUS and overseas.
Provide state of the art preparation, planning, execution, and adaptation of Personnel Recovery to combatant commanders across the full spectrum of operations by applying Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape tactics, techniques, and procedures to enable isolated personnel to "Return With Honor."
SERE Specialists provide cradle to grave support to PR for operations ranging from regional conflicts to small-scale contingencies. They prepare forces for extended isolating events caused by access denial, tyranny of distance, and displaced small engagements. SERE Specialists build foreign partner relationships, preparing the environment for potential future isolation and enabling flexible recovery options even in the absence of significant American military presence. As expert parachutists, SERE Specialists lead the AF emergency parachuting program and conduct extensive testing of parachuting systems. They are uniquely suited to analyze the operating environment to plan for evasion, captivity, and recovery considerations. SERE Specialists execute command and control of PR events as core members of Personnel Recovery centers at theater, component and unit levels. SERE Specialists adapt PR efforts through strategic reintegration debriefing and time-sensitive fusion into on-going operations.
Since 9/11 alone, these uniquely qualified personnel have trained over 200,000 DoD personnel in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Techniques. SERE Specialists have coordinated over 1300 recovery operations throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, the Philippines, South and Central America. They have led the reintegration efforts for over 140 civilians and DoD personnel to include high-visibility hostages and governmental detainees. Routinely, SERE Specialists maintain our nation's combat readiness by providing over 25,000 operators geographically focused mission planning and ongoing PR tactics training. SERE Specialists assigned to the Test Parachuting Squadron at Edwards AFB, have validated every DoD Jump Platform in the US inventory, and have tested over 63 parachute systems for DoD use.
Their motto, "Return With Honor" affirms SERE's commitment and dedication to the American imperative to bring all of our service members home, no matter how long it takes, even under the most dire circumstances.