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Making the difference on the battlefield

  • Published
  • By Capt. Korey Fratini
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Living by the motto “That others may live” Air Force pararescue specialists ensure that they are trained to the highest standards to conduct personnel recovery operations. It is these highly skilled individuals that provide the only dedicated U.S. personnel recovery assets in Afghanistan.

Recently Airmen from the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron conducted a joint mass casualty and extrication exercise with U.S. Army Task Force Chosen to increase interoperability with each other and demonstrate theater personnel recovery capabilities.

“Realistic training and making the combat situations as realistic as possible is going to make the difference on the battlefield,” said Lt. Col. Russell Cook, 83rd ERQ commander. “Realistic training is key.”

In the realistic training situation Airmen acted as injured patients. There were Airmen spread across the grounds of the site including those stuck inside damaged vehicles. Airmen from the 83rd ERQS and Soldiers from Task Force Chosen responded to the scene and immediately began the work to identify injuries and extract patients.

The teams used a variety of tools including saws and the Jaws of Life in order to safely extract injured patients from the vehicles. The goal is to get the patient out as quickly and safely as possible in order to save their life.

“The reason we do these exercises is because there is only a certain amount of time before a patient could go south on you,” said 1st Lt. Nicholas Adagio, 83rd ERQS Combat Rescue Officer. “Trying to get the best extrication techniques possible out there and train to the highest standards is best for our isolated personnel.”

These realistic scenarios ensure that Air Force pararescue teams are ready at moments notice to execute a variety of personnel recovery operations in the differing terrain environments throughout Afghanistan.

“We train to this every single day and we are the most capable response force for personnel recovery,” said Adagio.