Air Crash Rescue Teambuilding

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Planning the ACR strategy.

Planning the ACR strategy.

For many people, Corporate Adventure-based programmes have centred on moving, in a somewhat predictable manner, from one “task” to another. The truth is that this format bears very little resemblance to the corporate environment both with regards to time frame and its single focus.

“It is 11H30 on Tuesday the 21st of August 2001. For a number of days you have been witness to an escalating territorial dispute. In response to satellite surveillance your president has requested the air force to undertake an aerial reconnaissance mission along the border between the two countries.

Military observers received a distress call from the recce pilot, who claims to be under attack from heavy ground fire. The last communication with the pilot was at 08H15. Quick thinking on the part of a radio operator ensured that the pilot’s last comms were recorded.

Due to your group’s proximity, the president has requested you to undertake a Search and Rescue mission along the border in order to bring the pilot to safety.”

The Air Crash Rescue concept involves all members of the team in a single task lasting more than just a couple of minutes. Teams are required to carefully plan the rescue of a reconnaissance pilot in “enemy” territory.

Using GPS / Map / GPS + Map navigation, groups are required to locate various special task locations to get co-ordinates which will lead them to the location of the “downed pilot / aircraft”.

At various locations, the team needs to successfully complete tasks to obtain pieces of the co-ordinates of the “downed pilot”.

Tasks are custom designed to meet client’s specific needs / objectives or core values.   This can range from “mild to wild” in accordance with their fitness levels. Tasks are venue dependent and can include:

  • Raft Building – this could be utilized to start and/or finish the programme. (“Cross the border”.)
  • Problem-solving tasks and team initiatives
  • Adventure tasks – Bosun’s Chair / Bridge Piers can be utilized / built to cross the border.
  • Ambush – The team is issued with paint-ball / laser weapons in order to defend themselves from “terrorist attacks”.
  • 4×4 Vehicle Tasks – To be used as a task to rescue the pilot. eg: Blind Drive or Precision drive.

Outcomes of the Air Crash Rescue Exercise are, amongst others, to:

  • Renew and cultivate team spirit
  • Encourage team members to gain a “big picture” perspective
  • Build inter-departmental communication and trust
  • Foster a culture of planning and efficient use of information
  • Have fun