Training so others may live

Pararescue

Pararescuemen prepare to medically evacuate an isolated personnel during a training exercise in Nine Mile, Washington, June 27, 2018. Pararescuemen training under the 68th Rescue Squadron out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona spent three days at Fairchild Air Force Base training with 36th RQS to get familiarized with the UN-H1 Huey airframe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

Senior Airman George Ploetz, 308th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, radios for helicopter support during a training exercise in Nine Mile, Washington, June 27, 2018. The 68th RQS is the formal training unit for Guardian Angel, training PJs and combat rescue officers. The 68th RQS helps PJs and CROs meet combat capability requirements and enhance integration with joint combat forces by providing advanced skill upgrades and proficiency training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

Pararescuemen from various squadrons train with the 68th Rescue Squadron, to practice ground procedures at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, June 25, 2018. This training took place over three days and was conducted in partnership with the 36th RQS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

Senior Airman George Ploetz, 308th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, climbs aboard a UN-H1 Huey after being hoisted out of the water at Long Lake, Washington, June 26, 2018. If there is a member of the United States armed or allied forces behind enemy lines isolated, shot down, surrounded by enemy engagement or captured it is the mission of the United States pararescuemen to return them home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

Senior Airman Cody Reyes, 38th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, provides perimeter security during a training exercise in Nine Mile, Washington, June 27, 2018. If there is amember of the U.S. armed or allied forces behind enemy lines isolated, shot down, surrounded by enemy engagement or captured it is the mission of the U.S. pararescuemen to return them home. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Peters, 68th Rescue Squadron pararescueman training instructor, prepares to hoist fellow pararescuemen into a UN-H1 Huey during a training exercise at Long Lake, Washington, June 26, 2018. Air Force PJs are the only American elite task force with the direct focus and training to provide full spectrum recovery in conventional and unconventional situations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

A Pararescueman guides a hoist line while hoisting pararescuemen out of the water at Long Lake, Washington, June 26, 2018. Pararescuemen training under the 68th Rescue Squadron out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, spent three days at Fairchild Air Force Base training with 36th RQS to get familiarized with the UN-H1 Huey airframe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

Pararescuemen from various squadrons train with the 68th Rescue Squadron, to conduct hoist training at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, June 25, 2018. The Pararescuemen worked on their land alternate insurgent and extraction methods as well as their water alternate insurgent and extraction methods. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

Pararescue

A Pararescueman trains with the 68th Rescue Squadron is hoisted out of the water into a UN-H1 Huey at Long Lake, Washington, June 26, 2018. The Huey first started being used by the Air Force in 1970 as a search and rescue asset. The missions of the airframe expanded to include missile security, distinguished visitor, survival school and test support. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- If a member of the United States armed or allied forces is isolated behind enemy lines, surrounded by enemy engagement, or captured, it’s the mission of the Air Force’s elite rescue Airmen, to return them home.

Air Force Pararescuemen are the only elite, American task force with direct focus and training to provide full-spectrum personnel recovery operations in conventional and unconventional warfare.

Recently, PJs assigned to the 68th Rescue Squadron out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, spent three days at Fairchild Air Force Base training with 36th RQS to get familiarized with the UN-H1 Huey airframe.

“On the first day, we started with land alternate insurgent and extraction methods,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Peters, 68th RQS pararescueman training instructor. “This included fast rope, rappel and hoist work.”

During the second day, the PJs conducted water operations from the Hueys. Low and slow freefall swimmers jumped into water and fast-roped to save patients from the water. The integration of the Huey and PJs are needed for the teams to communicate with each other while they are on location.

For the last day of training they executed an isolated personnel operation from start to finish.

“Pararescuemen started with flying out to the location and identifying the patient on the ground,” said Peters. Then they lower themselves to the destination with a fast rope to make contact with the person on the ground. Once contact is made, they PJs perform any medical attention the patients require on the way to the hospital.

The 68th RQS is the formal training unit for the Air Force’s Guardian Angel Weapon System, training PJs and combat rescue officers. The 68th RQS helps PJs and CROs meet combat capability requirements and enhances integration with joint combat forces by providing advanced skill upgrades and proficiency training.

“This training is a huge part of getting Airmen to be mission qualified PJs,” said Peters. “This is a huge part of the upgrade that they need to work in the areas of operation we are currently in.”

Fairchild is a beneficial location to train due to its unique training areas that are close to different landing locations. This allows the helicopter to conduct more repetitions of the training exercises.

“There are a lot of high altitude training areas as well as a close-water support area and it’s simply a fantastic training area,” said Peters.

PJs start out their training with a selection course at Joint-Base San Antonio, Texas. Before the trainees can attend their apprentice course, they must complete dive school, survival school, emergency medical technician basic and a paramedic course. From there, they go to the apprentice course which is a six-month school where they cover all of the basics of being a pararescuemen.

The training at Fairchild is part of a seven-week course that allows the certified PJs to deploy down range.

This training is provided to PJs so they can do the best possible job in helping Americans return home safely. Their mantra, “That Others May Live,” is not taken lightly by these trained professionals who, at a moment’s notice, would run toward the gunfire to rescue their comrades.