Concluded the 5th NAWS (Naval Aviation Water Survival) course for Defense flight crews

(To Marina Militare)

From 26 to 30 September 2022 took place at the Helicopter station of the Navy (MARISTAELI) of Luni, the fifth experimental course "Naval Aviation Water Survival - NAWS". The training period, addressed to the personnel of the Air Forces of the Navy and of other Armed Forces and of the State Corps (which for Institute tasks are subject to flight activities in a maritime environment), has the purpose of making the visitors acquire the notions theoretical and practical survival at sea, suitable for dealing with potential emergency situations.

The NAWS allows visitors to confront and discover their psycho-motor limits and to better prepare themselves to face a possible event of forced ditching of an aircraft, with consequent stay at sea for a prolonged period. In addition to the personnel of the Navy Air Forces, 4 helicopter pilots from the Italian Army and 1 military from the Coast Guard took part in the training session.

The course, held at the facilities of the Forced Ditching and Sea Survival Training Center of MARISTAELI Luni and in the Gulf of La Spezia for the phase at sea, was divided into several periods with increasing difficulty.

The first period was dedicated to the theoretical training and physical preparation of the visitors, to continue with a practical module in the pool for familiarization with equipment and survival techniques at sea.

The second period involved both an activity at sea and training in the pool with the simulation of an aircraft emergency escape. This training phase involved the use of the modern forced ditching simulator called "Modular Egress Training System" (METS), the only one of its kind in Italy and which by 2022 has ensured the training of over 900 Defense and Marine soldiers The activity at sea in the bay of La Spezia saw the visitors stay in the water for about 4 hours, facing marginal marine weather conditions (sea 3 and wind with gusts up to 25 knots) and ended with a recovery exercise shipwrecked by Naval Unit (Nave Chioggia) followed by a recovery by NH-90A helicopter. 

The fifth "experimental" NAWS course was preparatory to the drafting of the final study plan of the course (soon to be approved) which allows the staff to consolidate their knowledge of the techniques and procedures essential for the escape from the ditched aircraft and for prolonged survival. at sea with the correct use of safety equipment.