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Escape and Evasion Charts

Department of Defense Evasion Chart

When Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady was shot down over Bosnia during June 1995, one of the items he acknowledged that assisted in his survival was the Evasion Chart (EVC) he carried in his vest pocket. In addition to using the chart to pinpoint his exact location, he used this unique product in a seemingly unusual way, but in fact one way that it was designed for--as a protection against the elements.

Produced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the charts are 1:250,000 scale and cover different geographic areas of the world. This product line was developed for the Air Force Intelligence Service in 1990 on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is designed to assist in survival, evasion, resistance and escape by military personnel.

Chart Description: The EVC is a derivative of a standard NGA product, the Joint Operations Graphic (JOG), which contains features such as lakes and tributaries that the user can recognize while on foot.  EVCs are produced on a strong, moisture-resistant polyester material (spin-bonded olefin). The material does not stretch or crack, and is not sensitive to temperature changes. It is displayed on a camouflage pattern background.  On the chart is various survival data including navigation and travel information, celestial navigation aids, climate of the region, a list of both edible and poisonous local plants and animals (complete with descriptions and/or photos), food preparation instructions, sources for water, first aid procedures and environmental hazards.

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFPN) -- Capt. Chris Occhinzzo practices evasion maneuvers during combat survival training course

Intended Uses

  • Sized specifically to fit in aircrew flight suit pocket, the EVC can be used:
  • To catch rain for drinking water
  • As a shade from wind and rain, and as a shelter, cape and blanket
  • As a bag to haul and purify large quantities of water or food
  • As a liner in a hole to serve as a wash basin
  • As ground cloth on moist ground, or as camouflage when sleeping
  • To wrap clothing in when swimming or fording streams
  • To wrap torso with as an extra layer of clothing
  • To wrap sleeping gear in it during foul weather
  • To splint a broken wrist

Background: The history of the evasion goes back to charts printed on rayon during the 1940s, and to cloth "blood chits" printed in various languages that identified American airmen and offered rewards for safe passage during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.