New ‘Dunker’ at RNAS Yeovilton

Royal Marines Dunker Drills

The Royal Navy Centre of Maritime SERE and Underwater Escape Training Facility, or ‘The Dunker’ for less of a mouthful, is a new facility opened at the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton in March 2018.

The facility is essential for training personnel in escape techniques when aircraft and amphibious vehicles are operated over water. for example Royal Marines and Army Commandos.

The new facility is much more efficient, cost effective, and provides a more realistic training environment – it can even simulate weather conditions such as wind, rain and waves as well as both daytime and night time scenarios.

Staff can train in different vehicle specific modules, both amphibious vehicles and aircraft.

In the dunker, personnel are able to experience:

  • Underwater escape from vehicles;
  • Safe ascent to the surface;
  • Surviving a ditching scenario;
  • Correct conduct of Sea Survival drills on the surface; and
  • Search and Rescue Helicopter drills.

The facility also includes staff offices, trainee rest areas, changing areas, classrooms, maintenance, packing and storage areas plus significant plant rooms to support the specialist equipment being used.

In order to accommodate an increase in training the new building is home to:

  • Three deep training pools which allow for multiple groups to be trained at the same time.
  • There is a ‘Dunker’ pool which is five metres deep.
  • The Survival Equipment (SE) pool is four metres deep; and
  • There is also a smaller Short Term Air Supply System (STASS) pool measuring three metres deep.
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