NY PJs send team to assist in hurricane efforts

NY PJs send team to assist in hurricane efforts

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y.–The New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing is deploying over 80 personnel, an HC-130 search and rescue aircraft, four zodiac boats, and one HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter as part of the nation’s Hurricane Florence response. Based at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base at the eastern tip of Long Island, the 106th is one of three Air National Guard search and Rescue Wings. “New York knows first-hand the devastation that extreme weather can leave behind, and we stand ready to help those who are in the path of Hurricane Florence in any way we can,” said New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “New Yorkers always help their neighbors in their time of need and just as we have stood shoulder to shoulder with Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida after last year’s destructive storms, we will once again stand ready to lend a hand to our fellow Americans,” Cuomo said. The 106th deployed people, boats and aircraft to Texas and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in August and September, 2017. The 106th Airmen were credited with rescuing 546 people in Texas using boats and helicopters and assisting in the airlift of 1,500 Americans from the island of St. Maartens following Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Florence is expected to come ashore in North Carolina and South Carolina as a category 2 Hurricane with a massive storm surge that will cause flooding. People along the coast have been urged to evacuate. On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the 106th began deploying personnel and equipment to Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. Pararescuemen from the 106th Rescue Wing’s headed to Dover towing four Zodiac rescue boats. The remaining personnel boarded three HC-130s and headed to Dover on Thursday morning. One of the HC-130s remained at Dover AFB as part of the response package, while the other two shuttled people and equipment. The package of 111 people includes pararescue personnel trained in conducting rescues from boats and helicopters, aircrews, maintenance personnel and additional support Airmen. “This is who we are. This is what we do. We are happy to be able to help,” said Col. Michael Bank, the wing commander, about the deployment “We train all year round to provide this capability and ensure we are ready when needed,” Bank added. Along with the team from the 106th Rescue Wing, the New York National Guard is prepared to deploy four Army National Guard helicopters from the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport. Two CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters from Company B 3rd Battalion 126th Aviation Regiment and two medical evacuation helicopters from Company C 1st Battalion 171st General Support Aviation Battalion and their aircrews are on standby to respond if necessary. WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY, UNITED STATES 09.13.2018 Story by Eric Durr and Capt. Michael O’Hagan New York National Guard   //ENDS// Story extracted from DVIDS For more stories like this on specialtactics.com, click HERE

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Ex-commando inspires youth for special operations

Ex-commando inspires youth for special operations

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Arnold T. Stocker, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Broward County, Florida, has served in the military for more than 40 years and operates South Florida Tactical Athletes, a preparatory school for those wishing to join the most coveted jobs the U.S. military has to offer. During his military career, Stocker has completed two special operation duties as a former Army Special Forces medical sergeant (with combat diver certification) and Air Force Pararescueman. Regardless of branch of service, special operation programs have a high standard of acceptance and a passing rate of lower than 10 percent. According to Stocker, thousands will try out, a hundred will get chosen for selection training and less than 10 will graduate. “To come to our program takes a lot of guts, dedication and motivation,” Stocker said. “We get men and women who are a cut above the rest; many of them are former athletes who think they are in great shape, but it’s not about being the fastest or strongest. It’s about expanding your circle of comfort and your mind, developing as a young adult and learning to work as a team.” Four days a week Stocker and four other instructors, a former pararescueman, a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer, and two Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance members, coach more than 20 men and women in running, swimming, water confidence, and team building exercises for two to three hours. Each week participants spend two days in the water and two days on land. They also participate in one extended training session a month on the weekend. The training includes warming up, calisthenics, underwater tasks, rucksack marching, sprinting, working together and listening to directions. “Each day is different and when people come to our program, we brief them beforehand but they don’t really know what to expect,” Stocker said. “We provide them with a challenge and we focus on proper form and technique; with that comes the speed.” Stocker envisioned SFTA to be the beginning step for future special operations men and women who will one day lead the nation’s defenses. So far, the program has trained more than 100 men and women since 2012, but Stocker’s journey training others to follow in his footsteps started 6 years prior. While visiting his home state of Pennsylvania, a friend told Stocker that his son would like to become a pararescueman. “He’s the first guy I can say I prepared to become a PJ (pararescueman),” Stocker said. “It’s an awesome feeling for me and every one of the instructors at SFTA, when one of ours makes it through selection. We aren’t just giving them a physical challenge, we are setting them up for the rest of their lives.” Stocker is versed in special operations, but his military journey began in the Air Force as a jet engine mechanic and then he later joined an aeromedical evacuation team on C-141 Starlifter aircraft. He wanted to join the pararescue career field, the military’s combat-search-and-rescue tip of the spear, but didn’t know how to swim. He hired a swim coach to learn stroke techniques and was later sent to the pararescue indoctrination course. “I failed the swim.” Stocker said. “I do (SFTA) because when I was training there was no program around. I told my swim instructor what I wanted to do and he had no idea about water confidence training. I also do it because I enjoy training and mentoring.” Today as a traditional reservist, Stocker oversees patient triage from aircraft to hospital and acts as a patient’s advocate while confirming patients are kept in stable conditions before the next echelon of care. He has two daughters and says the greatest challenge has been juggling his family, anesthesia profession, his reserve duty and SFTA. He couldn’t do it without the help of his instructors and his love for helping others. One other SFTA instructor who works with Stocker, former pararescueman Mike Mahoney, said he also does this job for the enjoyment of developing young adults into great men and women. “Just the other day I had one of those moments when I saw a guy swimming and I thought to myself, wow that’s good form,” Mahoney said. “I wanted to know who that person was, and it turned out to be one of our students who came to us not knowing how to swim. Now he’s working as a lifeguard and wants to become a pararescueman.” Leo Fernandez, one of the participants who joined SFTA not knowing how to swim said Stocker and the coaches have changed his life, both physically and mentally. “I can honestly say I would not have stood a chance in selection without Colonel Stocker,” Fernandez said. “He has worked with me on my swims and has taught me how to get out[…]

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135. Thai Cave Rescue Part 4

The PJ TL describes the step by step actions and meticulous attention to detail the disparate group of rescuers performed to safely and successfully get the children and the coach out. Learn about the level professionalism that was displayed to perform this high profile, high risk mission. Watching the news as PJs are on standby… Read more

135. Thai Cave Rescue Part 3

Part 3 of 5. Operation Wild Boar. Another exceptional discussion of the evolution of this incredible mission that gripped the world. Today is 9-11-2018. On behalf of TEAM NY, the 103rd Rescue Squadron, we send our warmest wishes to the survivors of the citizens, FDNY, NYPD, PAPD members and others who perished on 9-11.  We… Read more

134. Part 2 Thai Cave Rescue

This second in a  series of 5 podcasts were cut from a long discussion so there is no intro or closing to most of them. This podcast begins to discuss mission execution and the rescue of the children and coach from the wild boars soccer team. Check out the updated pjmed.com website. Check out specialtactics.com… Read more

133. Thailand Cave Rescue Part 1

Operation Wild Boar, the mission to rescue 12 Thai children on a soccer team and their coach captured the world's attention this summer. Derek, ST PJ and Team Leader on the mission, describes the mission drop, prep and on scene arrival. This is the first of several podcasts by Derek describing the mission and PJs'… Read more

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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125. Cave Diving and Rescue

The Thailand Cave Rescue is underway. PJs are on the mission. We will not discuss any details until it is completed. We are using this opportunity to speak to the FDNY Scuba Team Commanding Officer who is a certified cave diver. We discuss: Principles of cave diving. Similarities and differences from open ocean diving. Considerations… Read more

Pararescue Support to NASA

  Members of the 103rd Rescue Squadron of the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing participated in a Sentry Aloha exercise together with the 204th Airlift Squadron of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing. The training provided an opportunity to fold in training with NASA’s ground support equipment to be used in future human space flight missions, under the supervision of the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron coordinated by Detatchment 3 of the 45th Space Wing’s 45th Ops Group, Human Space Flight Support Office. //ENDS// For more Battlefield Airmen videos, click HERE.

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