Survival School

Jungle Survival School Philippines

Thanks to Ed Benningfield

This was the entrance to the classrooms at Jungle Survival School at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. The archway sign reads: "THE COLLEGE OF JUNGLE KNOWLEDGE" "LEARN AND RETURN"
A Philippine Nagrito (local Indian I Think?) hired by the U.S. Government, teaches us how to build a fire using kindling and a small limb from a certain tree plentiful in the jungle. Each class was approximately 25-30 and consisted entirely of aircrew personnel. Most were officers (pilots, copilots, and navigators). A few, like myself, were backend crew members. However, we were all treated with the same concern and respect. It was a good school. I enjoyed it and learned a lot. Can't say the same thing for World Wide Survival at Fairchild. I think Fairchild was actually run by Richard Simmons and they wanted each individual to lose at least 50 pounds during their 30 school there.
Here, the Nagrito has the beginnings of a small fire. We were impressed to say the least.
According to what we were taught (and actually shown), there are tons of things edible in the jungle. The Nagrito showed us a bunch of stuff growing out there and pulled a lot of it out of the ground, mostly root stuff. One item growing wild looked and tasted like the common potato. Another item (the George Bush) veggie, looked and tasted like Broccoli. Anyway, he took us around and showed us this stuff, pulled it up, and here he is showing us how to prepare it. What a miracle. There was also a "water tree" out there. No need to ever go to a creek or river to get water. They drove a bamboo spear into that tree, placed a tarp under it, and during the night, 30-40 gallons (maybe more) came seeping out of that tree. It was pure water, the purest in the land as tested by the Clark AB Hospital. We were all impressed.
Here we are (the whole class) on a trek. I believe they were trying to teach us Escape and Evasion (E&E) and give us the feeling that you could, in fact, roam around in the jungle without getting eaten alive by Tigers, Snakes, and other strange things that live in the jungle. Believe me, they had it all, but we did all survive the experience. The only thing we got here was a few "wet feet."
Here we are all gathered around as the Nagrito begins to show us how to cook all the stuff we collected that day in the Jungle - they fed us good (unlike Fairchild). We had plenty to eat and it tasted like it was edible. One warning came with eating with your fingers, however (no plates or utensils), "go down to the creek and wash real good." There were jungle rats all around (about the size of a cat here in the U.S.). We were told that if we didn't wash the food smell off our bodies, that when we slept (on the ground), the rats would not look at us as a 150 pound human, but as a 150 potato (or whatever). We were also told that if we got bitten by a rat, don't bother to catch it because we were going to get the Rabies Shots anyway - didn't matter one way or another.
This picture shows the area at Clark where we practiced our Parachute Landing Falls (PLF) and whatever else they had us do during practical session of the school. This area was not in the jungle, but on the main base.
This picture shows some sort of contonement area (I don't know what it was) plus some of the large trees that grew in the Philippines. Most of the trees were huge and had large white or red blossoms.
This is the area were we practiced our PLF's and whatever else they had us demonstrate during the Jungle Survival School - physical stuff. If you look close, you can see the FLR-9 Antenna (Elephant Cage) in the background, which supported a sister unit, the 6922 Security Squadron at Clark Air Base.
This picture shows a U.S. Helicopter arriving at our PLF Training Area. Here we were given a chance to practice helicopter pick ups. Again, in the background, you can see the FLR-9 Antenna which supported the 6922 Security Squadron at Clark.
This picture shows the main hospital at Clark Air Base. In the foreground are some of the beautiful, large trees that seem to blossom all year.

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