MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, GA, UNITED STATES
Story by Airman Eugene Oliver
Moody Air Force Base
Pararescuemen from the 38th Rescue Squadron conducted a full mission profile exercise, Dec. 12, 14-15, here.
During the training, the 38th RQS recovered victims while under enemy fire to prepare for future search and rescue missions and to assess their unit’s ability to work cohesively to accomplish the mission.
“It’s ultimately up to us to make sure that everyone gets out safe and quickly,” said Senior Airman Ryan, 38th RQS Pararescueman. “It’s key that we get as much practice as possible and work out any mistakes we have now, so when we get called for a real emergency we’re ready to execute.
“When we enter a situation we know everyone’s counting on one another and we need to work as a team and trust each other to ensure the mission’s a success.”
While focusing on sharpness and building confidence, the pararescuemen were gauged on their ability to adapt to new roles.
“Our main point of focus during these exercises is to make sure everyone knows their role and worries about completing their part of the mission and not someone else’s,” said Tech Sgt. Seth , 38th RQS Weapons and Tactics NCO in charge. “Usually when a guy’s always a team leader and now we’ve got him assigned to a lesser role, when they notice something wrong they want to step up and take control and that causes a great deal of chaos.
“We need all of our troops to be on the same page and to trust each other in order for us to get the job done.”
While focusing on good communication and teamwork, staying alert and keeping safety in mind is imperative to a successful mission.
“Speed and safety are key during our operations and we want to make sure everyone is safe and our unit works as a team proficiently,” said Barta. “This was an opportunity for them to work together to overcome some of the problems that will be thrown at them while deployed.”
Conducting rescue missions are the core of their mission, and ensuring practice missions are completed with minimal mistakes helps reassure confidence.
Overall, the pararescuemen were responsible for locating and communicating with injured victims, assigning responsibilities, deciding the best extraction plan and defending the victims against enemy attack.
“Our job has a lot responsibilities and we need to make sure each are completed quickly and adequately,” said Ryan. “We need to get to the injured victim, asses and communicate their overall health to the rest of our team so we can decide how were going to get them to safety”
To help make the scenario as realistic as possible, the 38th RQS not only utilized mannequins, but Airmen volunteers used as rescue subjects.
“I wanted to be a volunteer so I could see a different aspect of the job beside my own,” said Staff Sgt Lyndsay Gebhart, 23d Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler. “I thought it was very beneficial to see the capabilities of the 38th RQS and what they offer to the military.
“I didn’t know they were so highly trained in the medical portion and that they needed to be in such physical shape to move an individual by themselves.”
While working together to move people out of danger there are times that the 38th RQS must use unconventional methods to get injured victims to safety.
“I wanted to be a volunteer because the 38th RQS saves lives but I never knew how creative they could get when it comes to saving someone,” said Airman Jesse Lowe, 23d SFS fire team member. “I never knew that they could propel someone out of a building.
“It felt enlightening when they wrapped me up and placed me out of the window to be propelled down to safety, I never knew that they could do that.”