Special-Operator Trainers Outline Evolution of the Battlefront Airman

From Defense.gov Candidates training to be special operators evolve to the enemy that’s developing by adapting and trying to overcome it, two Air Force special-operator trainers said yesterday at the Pentagon in the Defense Department’s “Showcasing Lethality” briefing series. “From the battlefront and the training enterprise, from our standpoint, we are the foundation of what builds our battlefront airmen, to include our combat control operators, our pararescuemen, our [tactical air control party] operators and our special operations,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Gutierrez Jr., superintendent of standards and evaluations for Air Education and Training Command’s Battlefield Airmen Training Group, at Joint Base-San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. He and Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas J. Gunnell, a tactical air control party craftsman assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, provide some of the most rigorous training that goes into being a battlefield airman. “We try to basically build individuals that would never quit, [and] get them through arguably some of the hardest DoD training that’s out there,” Gutierrez said of the mostly junior-enlisted candidates, many of whom are right out of high school. While the two trainers said their attrition rate used to be up toward 80 percent and 90 percent, it’s now closer to 69 percent. “It’s still pretty rough, and it’s extensive and hard,” Gunnell said of the selection and training processes. Changes in Training “How we have come to this point is honestly through innovation and change,” he said, noting implementation of courses, such as an eight-week pilot program called the Battlefront Airmen Preparatory Course, which has added to changes in training. “We are making individuals that come through from [basic military training] fitter, faster, stronger and more mentally resilient,” Gunnell said, “[while we] familiarize them with the training and the types of environments we’re going to put them in.” Gutierrez emphasized how the jobs that result from the intense training involve huge responsibilities. “In some instances,” Gutierrez said, “they’re E-4s [or] E-5s controlling million-dollar aircraft, [and they] are responsible for lives and making the right moral and ethical decisions on the battlefield.” Yet, the trainers don’t just build war fighters — they build responsible noncommissioned officers and train them to go out and “do the fight,” Gutierrez said. “We’re building the best candidates out there in the world,” he added. They agreed that today’s technology, which produced equipment such as unmanned aircraft and sophisticated munitions has taken training a long way in recent years. Full-on Operators Gunnell said trainers must turn candidates into “full-on operators” for the operational force because they’re essential in light of the operations tempo made necessary by numerous global threats. Training is now more science-based, with strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers and even physical therapists, he noted. “We have operations psychologists that are sitting there watching and assessing these candidates to make sure we are taking the right individual that’s going to make the right decision when it’s needed,” he said. Emphasizing that safety is their No. 1 concern, the trainers said they prepare candidates in all environments to meet the needs of building a fitter, faster, stronger and mentally resilient airman to support any given effort. Gunnell said today’s candidates are “amazing” in their physical and mental abilities. “We’re not getting the same guys, probably, that [Gutierrez] and I were when we first came in,” he said. “The [people] we’re getting now are stronger and smarter. Their aptitude levels are just unreal. “It’s awesome to see them grow from young airmen,” said he continued. “We put them out on the battlefield … in Afghanistan and Iraq, everywhere all over the world, and they just take it and come back with a little experience. They get a little confidence, and then we’re able to grow a little bit further. I teach them so much based off what I’ve learned. But then they come back with that experience. They teach the next crop of guys coming in.” Training special operations candidates is becoming more lethal, Gunnell said, drawing on experience from war in Afghanistan and Iraq. “We’ve been doing this for 17 years now, and it’s helped us grow the nation’s young people and [produce] some incredible individuals.” //ENDS//

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Training so others may live

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE , WA, UNITED STATES 06.29.2018 Story by Senior Airman Sean Campbell  92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs   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. //ENDS// Story extracted from DVIDS For more operator stories like this, click HERE

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146th ASOS builds partnership during warfighter exercise

EDINBURGH, IN, UNITED STATES 06.15.2018 Story by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire  137th Special Operations Wing   EDINBURGH, Indiana – The 146th Air Support Operations Squadron (146th ASOS), Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB) in Oklahoma City, worked with new and old partners during Warfighter 18-5 (WFX 18-5), June 5-14, 2018, at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center near Edinburgh, Indiana. Warfighter is a nine-day, 24-hour warfighter exercise that brought together the 146th ASOS with the Oklahoma National Guard 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (45th IBCT) and for the first time, the Minnesota Army National Guard 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th ABCT). Eight participants from the 146th ASOS squadron were split between the two units to provide continuous planning assistance for the Army training audience. “Our contribution to this exercise is to support our two aligned partners,” Master Sgt. Christopher Vaughn, 146th ASOS tactical air control party (TACP) noncommissioned officer in charge. “It is our opportunity to integrate with all the different army entities and shops that we will work with when we deploy.” Warfighter 18-5 (WFX-18-5) was conducted to help battalions under the 34th Infantry Division reinforce Army battle drills in a computer-simulated combat environment. Conducting these operations in a virtual battlefield allowed the Soldiers to fine-tune standard processes and see the real-time combat results of battle plans, actions and decisions. “It’s extremely important to build a team mission command, but it’s more than that – it’s getting to know each other,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Kemp, 1/34th ABCT commander. “We have a whole year to build that and trust, and this past week has been critical for that.” In the past, the 146th ASOS had only worked with infantry brigades (the 45th IBCT and the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in California), so integration with the armored brigade has offered the squadron an opportunity to expand their skill set, said Lt. Col. Craig Ilschner, commander of the 146th ASOS. “They behave and operate differently from an infantry brigade, so it has been a learning experience for us… but the 1/34th have been great working with us and helping us better understand the way they operate,” he said. During the exercise, the 146th ASOS acted as a realistic asset during the training and generated requests for air support that were received from the division. Their job during the exercise was to help the Army fire support officer create a joint tactical air request and help submit close air support requests through the Air Force. Master Sgt. Benjamin Lake, 146th ASOS chief of weapons and tactics, was one of four 146th ASOS members who worked directly with Soldiers in the 1/34th ABCT mobile tactical operations center in 12-hour shifts. This was the fifth warfighter exercise for him, and he said each one has been better than the last. However, he also said WFX-18-5 has been particularly special because of the integration between the 146th ASOS and the 1/34th ABCT. “The training right now is to help us integrate with the 1/34th ABCT and to let them know what we’re doing,” said Lake. “We’re really learning how their particular brigade operates.” The 146th ASOS participates in warfighter exercises when necessitated by their Army partners. As a longstanding partner, the 45th IBCT is not new to the processes of the 146th ASOS. In 2008, the 146th ASOS was established as a tenant unit on WRANGB to support the 45th IBCT and 75th IBCT. They deployed with the 45th IBCT to Afghanistan in 2011 and have regularly been on missions and training exercises since 2013. Their training has evolved over the years to coordinating joint air support for joint and combined operations, such as during Operation Allied Spirit in 2016, in which the 45th and 146th replicated a multi-national division in an operational environment with 12 other countries. “Our relationship overall has really evolved from basic tactical execution with the TACP six years ago to joint operational planning,” said Chief Warrant Officer Rowdy Isbill, targeting officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 45th IBCT. “Our relationship as a guard element with the 146th rivals any active duty unit.” For Ilschner, WFX 18-5 was not only an opportunity for training and building the 146th ASOS’ existing working relationship with the 45th IBCT, but it also served as proving ground for their new partnership with the 1/34th ABCT. “This is the foundation of what will be a relationship that I expect to grow and improve over the next several years,” Ilschner said. “We like to be experts at what we do, and we align well with the 1/34th because they have the same training mindset and operational paradigm.” //ENDS// Click HERE for the original story from DVIDS.

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Air Force Reserve PJ laid to rest in Florida

From the 920th Rescue Wing: Loved ones and fellow Reserve Citizen Airmen paid respects as Master Sgt. William Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida, was laid to rest with full military honors at Florida Memorial Gardens, Rockledge, Florida, Thursday, June 21. A seasoned combat veteran, Sergeant Posch served as a pararescuemen assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron providing combat rescue support for Inherent Resolve when he and seven Airmen were killed in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash in Anbar Province, Iraq, March 15, 2018. Also in attendance were Maj. Gen. Derek P. Rydholm, Deputy to the Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force Washington, D.C.; Maj. Gen. Ronald “Bruce” Miller, 10th Air Force commander; and Chief Master Sgt. James W. Loper, Command Chief both with the 10th Air Force, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas; as well as the 920th Rescue Wing commander, Col. Kurt A. Matthews and wing leadership. Patrick AFB flags flew at half-staff while fully military honors were rendered by the Team Patrick Honor Guard at Sergeant Posch’s final internment site to include firing one of three volleys. Pararescue teammates from the 308th RQS folded and presented flags to Posch’s immediate family members. Posch was one of three Guardian Angel Airmen the pararescue community lost; Capt. Mark Weber, 29, a combat rescue officer assigned to the 38th RQS, Moody AFB, Georgia; and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, assigned to the 308th RQS. “It is hard to lose members of your team and your community, but the loss of these warriors will take a long time for us to recover from.  Bill was an exceptional leader who did everything in his power to ensure his team was ready for any situation. Bill demanded excellence in everyone around him…a remarkable father, operator and leader, and his legacy will live forever in the squadron!” said Lt. Col. Timothy Hanks, 308th Rescue Squadron commander. Each Guardian Angel Airmen in attendance followed a time-honored pararescue tradition of pounding the flash from their maroon berets into the lid of the casket. This was followed by the completion of a round of memorial pushups to honor their fallen teammate. “I’ve been impressed with all the men and women of the 308th who’ve been able to honor their fallen heroes and continue to move on with the rescue mission we all serve,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander.  “The greatest tribute to Bill will be how we keep his memory and legacy alive in the ways that we conduct our training, our missions, and ourselves.  He helped lead us by example, and still does.” Posch had 18 years of service, the last 10 were with the 920th RQW. Posch supported major military operations at home and abroad including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, Joint Task Force Katrina, JTF NASA Space Shuttle launches and recoveries, and most recently last August JTF Harvey, where he and his fellow rescue warriors rescued 235 hurricane victims in Texas from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as well as a long-range rescue at sea saving two German citizens whose sailboat caught fire and sunk a month earlier. In 2013, Sergeant Posch was recognized as one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. Among his decorations were the Air Medal with silver oak leaf cluster; an Aerial Achievement Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal with Combat Device posthumously. //ENDS// Rest Easy Pikey.PJ Original story extracted from the 920 RQW

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Chief mentors Airmen their career field doesn’t define them

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, MS, UNITED STATES 06.15.2018 Story by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb  14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs   Chief Master Sgt. Bradley Reilly wasn’t born with a scarlet beret in one hand and a land-to-air communications radio in the other. In fact, being a combat controller wasn’t his idea of a dream job over 30 years ago. Reilly used hard work, brute force and creative problem solving together to perform exceptionally well throughout his career in the Marines and Air Force. His willingness to volunteer and work hard no matter where he found himself allows him to now teach Airmen their paths are not defined by their career field. Once a Marine, always a Marine “I came in initially and had to be a reservist, my parents didn’t want me to go on active duty at first,” Reilly explained. “I went to boot camp loving it, I hated the fact I was a reservist, everyone was getting orders around the Marine Corps and I was going back to my home in Phoenix.” After returning home, he spent the next nine months training to be a combat engineer only to find he was actually going to be a heavy equipment operator in the combat engineer career field. He was able to transition to active duty in 1990 where he was assigned to the 1st Landing Support Battalion in Camp Pendleton, California. “Shortly thereafter in August of that year, the first Gulf War kicked off,” Reilly said. He volunteered and became a part of the fight in Saudi Arabia, with no infrastructure and a handful of help, he would spend 18 hours a day on a forklift building a forward operating base. He spent nine months in Saudi Arabia, working 18-hour days and left a month after the ground war ended. “I always did my best,” Reilly said. “Just because I wanted to be infantry Marine doesn’t mean I’m going to give up as a heavy equipment operator.” His mentality is what has always led Reilly to raise his hand for any opportunity that may get him closer to the fight and to the front lines. He came home only to volunteer himself to deploy to Somalia in 1992 where he supported the 7th Motor Team as a M60 rear security gunner. “One day we were coming back through a place we were taking fire and the whole convoy stops,” Reilly said. “[My gunnery sergeant] jumped out and screamed up and down the vehicles ‘Leave the drivers and the gunners, everyone else dismount, I’m tired of getting shot at from this village so we’re going to sweep it’ and I was disappointed because I had to stay and protect the convoy.” While in the convoy, the gunners and drivers all sat complaining about having to sit out on the action, waiting for the town to erupt into a firefight, but the town stayed silent. Coming from the other direction, a vehicle drove directly at the convoy with weapons in their possession, so Reilly and another gunner put endless amounts of bullets into the truck, eliminating the threat. ‘It clicked’ “I’ll tell you one thing, I’ve volunteered and volunteered and volunteered for absolutely everything. For every good detail there was a terrible detail,” Reilly said. “If there was any way to get me closer to the fight or get me off the heavy equipment, that’s what I would want to do.” One day, he volunteered to search for vehicle parts to repair a Marine vehicle. From compound to compound, he and his team looked for what they needed when they happened to stumble upon a maintenance facility of some sort. “We popped open a chained door and saw a room maybe 20 by 20 feet, full of ammunition, weapons and two Tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles,” Reilly said. “I remember tiptoeing around the room and calling out what I found. By this time everyone is at the door, so we start slowly handing stuff out and loaded it into our trucks. All of a sudden, we had incoming rounds.” During the firefight, a gunner was stumbling with his weapon. The Marine had loaded his ammunition upside down, Reilly reacted, taking the Marine’s place, and returned fire so the team could get away safely. “Right there it clicked for me that; when other people are afraid or weren’t thinking clearly, I was good,” Reilly said. “I could make clear decisions. That was where I was meant to be.” Pick up the pieces Shortly after Somalia, he was sent to Sergeant School after his promotion to E-5. In Sergeant School, he called his assignment manager and told them he’d like to be a drill instructor. “It’s a lot of hours and it takes a different mentality,” Reilly said. “I was sent to drill[…]

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HPO program increases readiness and lethality

TUCSON, AZ, UNITED STATES 06.14.2018 Story by Airman 1st Class Frankie Moore  Pararescuemen risk life and limb in order to save the lives of others. Over time, these great efforts cause strain to the body, and, if not treated proactively, can lead to potential permanent damage. 48th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base realized that having medical personnel on and off deployments, as well as tackling injuries and discomforts early on, would keep them mobile, deployment-ready and help ensure a pain-free future. With the help of U. S. Air Force Col. Colleen McBratney, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander, a team comprised of surgeons, physicians and mental health specialists was built to accomplish these objectives. Thus, D-M’s Human Performance Optimization program was born. In its initial phase, the HPO team’s intent was to move non-deployable personnel into deployment ready status while keeping those that are deployment ready in top shape. “We treat and train our guys like they’re Division I athletes,” said Drew Hammond, 48th RQS strength and conditioning coach. “We track them from the day they get injured to the day they get back to full status and try to find ways to make that time shorter.” One of the ways the HPO team follows this information is the use of wearable performance trackers combined with phone applications. These combined technologies give the HPO team accurate information on the status of each pararescueman’s heart rate, daily activity and recovery status among other performance based data. “These technologies greatly help the athlete, as well as their coach and flight leader and see how they’re progressing,” McBratney said. “With that knowledge, leadership can make an informed decision on what kind of training needs to be done for particular individuals rather than keeping a routine plan for every pararescueman.” Because of the program’s personalized approach, the HPO team increased the full spectrum readiness and lethality of the 48 RQS. Additionally, providing a physical therapist to the squadron decreased the time it would take for the pararescemen to travel back and forth to the 355th Medical Group and receive care. This assigned medical professional asset gave 235 man-days back to the 48th RQS. The HPO team not only want to ensure the pararescuemen were physically fit to fight, but mentally as well. “From a performance standpoint, both physical and mental health are critical,” McBratney said. “We want to make sure the Airmen are able to do their jobs better and have a good balance between work and home life.” The HPO program has come a long way since its conception and plans to expand past the 48th RQS in the future. “This kind of thing should be available to all Airmen,” McBratney said. “There are many different physical and mental stressors that affect all personnel and this program could greatly help them work more efficiently and lead a more pain-free lifestyle.” The successes of the HPO program shows that a more personalized approach to mental and physical health can greatly increase the productivity and well-being of the individual involved in its processes. “We want to help all of our people do better and take care of them as people, not products,” McBratney said. “Hopefully, in the future, all Airmen can reap the benefits of the HPO program.” //ENDS// For more stories like this, click HERE.

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Honoring the fallen and healing the family

KADENA AIR BASE, OKINAWA, JAPAN 05.01.2018 Story by Senior Airman Jessica Smith  18th Wing Public Affairs   On February 17th, 2002, an Army MH-47 helicopter crashed into the Sulu Sea while conducting counterterrorist operations in the Philippines, killing 10 people, one of which was Master Sgt. William L. McDaniel II, a pararescueman with the 320th Special Tactics Squadron.  Two years later a professional development center on Kadena Air Base was dedicated in his memory and is now known as the McDaniel Center. Nearly two decades later, his family was invited for an opportunity to see firsthand the dedication to their loved one and meet those who were involved. While it may seem a little late, the timing was just right for his mother and niece to find closure and healing for their loss. “I think it was just time,” said Sheila McDaniel, mother of the fallen. “My granddaughter kind of pushed me a little bit to get this going so we could come and see this … Maybe put a little bit of closure for me, for my son … About him.” McDaniel was the first born son, and the only child to follow in the footsteps of his father by joining the military. Upon finding out he was joining the military, Sheila had mixed emotions for her son, thinking back to a skinny little 13 year old boy. “He decided to go in the Air Force and yah, I was happy for him – nervous but happy,” she said. At a young age, McDaniel began to change his physical appearance – his dedication to fitness was a key factor in the confidence that could be seen in his work and a major contributor to his future successes. After years of dedication as a crew chief he decided to cross-train to become a pararescueman – a challenge for anyone but possibly even more so for him. “When he went into pararescue, he was the old man compared to the guys that were going through the pipeline at that time,” Sheila said. “He was 31, 32, and those guys were 18, 19, 20 years old, and he was doing just what they were and then some.” For everyone who knew McDaniel, it was clear he loved what he did, his mother explained, but was never boastful. “He wouldn’t have liked all this hoopla,” she laughed, “He was not into that … He became Pararescueman of the Year in 2001, and we never knew until he was killed – he never told.” As much as this trip was about the legacy of McDaniel, it was also about the healing of his family – many years later, the heartache is still there. Sheila still remembers the moment she found out about her son’s passing. “When they first came to tell me, I felt like somebody had stuck me in the gut and just ripped half of me away,” Sheila recalled. “As far as how I feel today … I miss him very much – his smile, his sweetness, his kindness and beautiful face.” Being able to come to Okinawa, brought a sense of peace to his mother as well as the rest of the family. Ashley McDaniel was 18 when her uncle, “Bub,” died and is one of the key people behind getting her grandmother Sheila, here. “I pushed for it, I pushed for her to be here because I felt like it would help her in a lot of ways,” Ashley said. “To see how happy she is to be here, makes me happy – words don’t describe it.” For Ashley, the visit has made dealing with her grief a little easier. “To see what everybody has done to keep his memory alive is awesome,” she said. “[It] makes it a little easier to deal with knowing that he’s never been found but he’s never been forgotten … “ During their trip, Sheila and Ashley were able to sense just how much people cared – and still do – for McDaniel. “I just get it from everybody, and that makes me feel wonderful to know he was loved that much,” Shelia said. The atmosphere of family and comradery made the trip better than expected for Ashley. “It’s been above and beyond – they’re a part of our family – nothing will ever change that,” she said. “They have absolutely made us feel like family and we’ll forever hang on to that.” Both Sheila and Ashley believe their loved one is looking down happily on their experience at Kadena. However, their emotions implore them to highlight the importance of valuing loved ones while they’re still here. “Tell them every day how much you love them,” Sheila said through tears, “Because you’re not promised the next day – ever.” Although the trip was a long time[…]

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Final respects paid to pararescueman Staff Sergeant Carl Enis

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, VA, UNITED STATES 05.22.2018 Story by Maj. Jennifer Pearson  920th Rescue Wing/Public Affairs   Loved ones, friends, 308th Rescue Squadron teammates and 920th Rescue Wing members paid their respects as Staff Sgt. Carl Enis was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery Monday, May 21, 2018.  Follow link to view burial: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=xFZqJ8XdfxA Enis, a pararescuemen, was providing combat rescue support for Inherent Resolve, when he, along with six other Airmen, was killed in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash in Anbar Province, Iraq, March 15, 2018. Pararescuemen or PJs are part of the Guardian Angel triad of combat rescue officers and SERE or survival specialists who are expert swimmers, SCUBA divers, mountain climbers, parachutists, marksmen and trauma medics who rescue injured combatants on the battlefield. Guardian Angel Airmen in attendance were part of a time-honored tradition of pounding their pararescue flash from their beret into the lid of the casket. “Staff Sgt. Enis was an outstanding citizen Airman and a phenomenal operator doing an incredible mission; he was also a great individual,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander. “You can be proud knowing Staff Sgt. Enis gave his last full measure performing the mission and serving our most noble Pararescue creed: ‘These things we do, that others may live.’ ” “We honor his service and sacrifice and join with his family in mourning the immense void left behind by the loss of this great man – our rescue brother,” said Matthews. Within both his civilian and military circles, Enis is known for his passion for the outdoors and expert hunting, fishing and diving skills. Enis was a Tallahassee, Florida, resident who served with the 920th RQW from 2010 as a Reserve Citizen Airmen. Among his decorations are the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster; the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. The 920th RQW is the only Air Force Reserve combat-search-and-rescue unit and is located at Patrick Air Force Base, in Cocoa Beach, Florida. //ENDS// Story extracted from DVIDS

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Joint Effort for Mass Casualty Exercise

DJIBOUTI 04.24.2018 Story by Master Sgt. Sarah Mattison  Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa   DJIBOUTI, Africa – Service members assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and Camp Lemonnier participated in a joint mass-casualty exercise, April 24. This exercise enabled multiple units to work together to tackle complex issues, while securing, treating, extricating and evacuating simulated casualties.  The exercise, which started with a simulated improvised explosive device (IED) blast on a convoy, included twenty-five volunteers that had been moulaged with various simulated injuries requiring triage and treatment. Guardsmen from the Texas Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment arrived on scene as the quick-reaction force and secured the area. At the same time, pararescuemen (PJs) from the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (82nd ERSQ) circled above in a C-130J Super Hercules operated by the 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, preparing to jump to the site below. “The overall goal is to demonstrate a capability to interoperate with all of these different partners as part of a mass-casualty exercise,” said 1st Lt. Jake, with the 82nd ERSQ. “We can jump the PJs in, establish site security with the site security team and then the PJs can treat and determine who needs the most critical care.” The PJs also jumped with a couple of tandem passengers, including the tactical air control party (TACP) and a doctor. After hitting the ground, the doctor took over the casualty collection point and began triaging and treating patients, while the TACP maintained airspace deconfliction and surveyed helicopter landing zones to expedite evacuation of the simulated casualties. Simultaneously, the PJs began extricating individuals that were trapped inside of the crushed vehicles. Staff Sgt. Matthew, who works in material management support for the 82nd ERSQ, volunteered to be one of the simulated casualties. “I volunteered because I wanted to support an exercise that could potentially be a real world medevac response,” Matthew said. “I think this [training] is important because being in a deployed environment, this could potentially become a real world situation.” While planning for the exercise was lengthy, it was training that was well worth the time and effort that it took to put together “Doing this exercise, not only does it demonstrate that we have these capabilities, but it also means that we are training with these capabilities as we go along,” said Jake. “So if this were to happen real word, then we’ve already done training with these guys and agencies before, so it would be easy to put together different pieces of what we’ve already done today.” //ENDS// This story extracted from DVIDS. For more Battlefield Airmen stories such as this, click HERE

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13 ASOS completes seventh annual 24-hour run

COLORADO SPRINGS, CT, UNITED STATES 05.02.2018 Story by Audrey Jensen  21st Space Wing Public Affairs   PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A green, blue and red flag flew for 24 hours around the Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Fitness Center track, in honor of 12 fallen servicemembers.  The 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, based out of Fort Carson, Colorado, kept the Tactical Air Control Party Association’s flag flying as their unit, along with other units around the world, completed the 24-hour run challenge, April 26 – 27, 2018. “People ask what we’re doing out here — it’s to bring awareness to the TACP Association,” said Senior Airman Taylor Rahtjen, 13 ASOS Joint Terminal Attack Control instructor. Through this run and online donations, the TACP Association can give funds to TACP families for school scholarships, cars and emergency plane tickets, among other donations. “Every squadron also totals their miles. There’s a certain dollar amount that’s donated per mile,” said Rahtjen. One of the fallen, Maj. David Gray, the former 13 ASOS leader who was killed in action in 2012, was honored through this run as well, said Master Sgt. Jon Mosley, 13 ASOS JTAC instructor. “He had the ability to draw people to him and not just foster a team but foster a family environment like nobody I’ve ever seen,” said Mosley. About 70 Airmen from the 13 ASOS unit showed up for the run, Rahtjen said, and as the 24 hours went on, they took two-hour shifts in groups of about 10 people per shift. For more information about the TACP Association, visit https://tacpassociation.org/blog/. //ENDS// Story from DVIDS For more articles like this, click HERE

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