The requirements and training for Battlefield Airmen are some of the most demanding in the U.S. military. They must first volunteer, and to be selected they must have strong character, high intelligence and be in excellent physical condition. Then, after up to two years of intense training, they become initially qualified. In some Battlefield Airmen specialties, more than half of those who start either drop out or are disqualified.
In addition to mission-specific instruction, candidates attend SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school, parachute training, and some learn combat scuba diving. To fight alongside land forces, they must learn small unit tactics, hand-to-hand combat and small arms. Many Battlefield Airmen take the same courses as other unconventional forces like Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs.
This tough training does not end with initial qualification, but it continues throughout their career.
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