Gulf Oil Spill Impacts Air Force Training

Air Education and Training Command has suspended parachute water survival instruction off of Pensacola, Fla., due to the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. David Smith, AETC spokesman, told the Daily Report Tuesday that “some tar and oil residue” was found in the bay where this training occurs under the direction of an Air Force detachment at NAS Pensacola. This discovery prompted local government health and safety officials to declare “it appropriate to do training in that water.” The training was halted on June 4 until further notice, he said. Student pilots are now being sent in the interim to Fairchild AFB, Wash., to receive some, but not all of this instruction. Smith said 55 new USAF students normally come through NAS Pensacola each week for this training, which takes place 48 weeks per year. (See CNN report)