By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht | NMOTC Public Affairs
American actor, director and musician Gary Sinise received underwater egress training Feb. 9 at Aviation Survival Training Center during a visit to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Sinise participated in this training in preparation for his flight in an F/A-18 fighter jet, which was scheduled for later in his extended visit to the area. To ensure safety before the flight, water survival training was required to ensure Sinise understood the proper escape procedures should an aircraft mishap occur.
“While Gary Sinise is here at ASTC Miramar, we are going to train him on various aspects of water survival,” said Chief Navy Diver Joey Jenkins. “So what he is going to do is get into the pool to learn and actually demonstrate some of those basic water survival skills that will prepare him for flying in a military jet.”
Sinise arrived at ASTC where he met with local sailors and received classroom briefs designed to familiarize him with survival equipment used in actual aircraft ejection scenarios over both land and sea. Sinise quickly realized the high volume of information being taught, but stayed dialed in and excitedly asked questions to ensure that he fully understood the briefs. The team then escorted Sinise to the base pool to put into practice the concepts learned.
Sailors outfitted Sinise with full F/A-18 flight gear before leading him into the water. The actor swam 25 yards and orally inflated a life preserver unit while treading water to complete the hands-on element of his training.
“I’ve tried to do a lot of different types of things with all the branches,” Sinise said. “They have asked me about this one for a while.”
Sinise returned to the classroom where, after chatting and taking photos with sailors at the pool, he attended briefs on aviation physiology, ejection seats and parachuting.
Sailors enjoyed one last opportunity to meet and take photos with Sinise before his departure to tour other areas on the base.
“I get invited to do a lot of really neat things,” Sinise said. “I’m an advocate for the military, and the more I know about what the military does and how they do it, the better advocate I can be.”