|Underwater Escape Training Unit|
Location within Somerset
|Alternative names||The Dunker, Royal Navy Centre of Maritime SERE and Underwater Escape Training Facility|
|Address||Somerset, BA22 8HT|
|Elevation||15 m (49 ft)|
|Client||Fleet Air Arm|
The Underwater Escape Training Unit is a military training centre for survival at sea in Somerset; the site is mainly for helicopter aircrew.
The purpose-built site in Somerset opened in 1985. The Royal Navy previously had underwater breathing training for fixed-wing aircrew at the Royal Navy Air Medical School and had underwater escape for helicopter aircrew in a dunker at HMS Vernon; HMS Vernon trained around 800 rotary wing aircrew a year, and had five naval divers. Civilian offshore workers in the UK are also trained at a dunker in Aberdeen. The 1985 site trained up to 1200 rotary wing aircrew a year.
Aircrew carry STASS (Short Term Air Supply System). Other countries have the Helicopter Aircrew Breathing Device (HABD). STASS was introduced into the Fleet Air Arm in 1992.
The new £15m Underwater Escape Training Unit opened on 27 February 2018. The UETU can train up to 6000 aircrew a year.
The site offers tri-service training for the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the Army Air Corps. Foreign countries also train at the dunker too. Fleet Air Arm pilots on Air 424 spend a week at the dunker, and must attend refresher courses every three years.
For STASS training, there is a recompression chamber (diving chamber). There is a HUET system for the Lynx which seats eight, and one for the larger helicopters which seats twelve. There is buoyant ascent training.
There is a 5-metre-deep Dunker pool, a 4-metre-deep Survival Equipment pool, and a 3-metre-deep Short Term Air Supply System pool.