LEWISTON – Winter can be long and cold in Maine, but the cadets in the Air Force Junior ROTC unit know how to survive it.

Instructors Lt. Col. Robert Meyer and Master Sgt. Tom Noury took 19 cadets on a weekend field trip to the deep woods of Maine to learn how to survive in the winter elements.

“We thought it would be a fun learning experience to embrace the cold weather and teach the students about the essentials of survival,” said Meyer.

Students learned about emergency fire-building, improvised shelter construction and how to procure food and water from the outdoors. Most importantly, the students were told about how important the right mental attitude is when in a crisis.

“Our hope is that if any of these cadets find themselves lost or stranded in the outdoors, that they will have the will and know how to survive until rescued,” said Noury.

Actually, the students enjoyed unseasonably warm weather and spent the evenings in heated log cabins. “We wanted to make it educational and fun. I remember the Air Force Survival School being very educational, but not a lot of fun,” said Meyer. “By staying in the cabins, we were able to enjoy a lot of camaraderie and team-building experiences.”

In addition, the Bangor Air National Guard Unit, also known as the “Mainiacs,” gave a tour of the maintenance hanger and the KC-135 aircraft there.

The students crawled over the aircraft while the maintenance officers discussed the parts of the plane. “The Mainiacs were fantastic hosts,” said Meyer, “I overheard a number of students state that this was one of the coolest experiences they had ever had.”


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