Resilience and stress in military combat flight engineers

Authored by: Reoot Cohen-Koren , Dror Garbi , Shirley Gordon , Nirit Yavnai , Yifat Erlich Shoham , Leah Shelef

The Routledge International Handbook of Military Psychology and Mental Health

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367237066
eBook ISBN: 9780429281266
Adobe ISBN:


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In the Israeli military, evacuation and rescue helicopter crews include pilots, medical rescue teams and flight engineers, and all are considered combat fighters since they evacuate people from fighting zones under life-threatening circumstances. Military combat flight engineers are responsible for a wide range of actions from technical operations to the evacuation of injured people; thus, they are exposed to the harsh and highly distressing sights of casualties. These sights, combined with the exposure to life-threatening situations, increase the risk of developing distress such as PTSD. In an attempt to help return to full functioning as fast as possible and to reduce the likelihood for distress, the Israeli military mental health department started interventions following traumatic events in recent years. This chapter discusses several surveys conducted over the years on this population by the Israeli Air Force and presents the prevention program intended to build resilience.

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