Air Force

July 5, 2012

563rd Train over Tucson

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Story and photos by Airman 1st Class Camilla A Griffin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Photos by Airman 1st Class Camilla A Griffin
A U.S. Air Force pararescueman from the 48th Rescue Squadron repels from a HH-60 Pave Hawk during the tactical training mission. Part of the training was to descend from the Pave Hawk by using both a repel system and rope.

The 55th Rescue Squadron and the 48th Rescue Squadron completed a training mission together June 27 over the rough terrain of Tucson, Ariz.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Sylvia, 48th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, looks out of a HH-60 Pave Hawk during a training flight in Tucson June 27. The training is essential to keep pararescumen’s skills sharp.

The purpose of the training mission was to practice and certify Airmen in alternate insertion and extraction. The aircrew used for the mission is assigned to the 55th RQS and the pararescuemen are assigned to the 48th RQS.

Alternate insertion and extraction is a variety of different ways to ascend and descend from a helicopter during real-world missions. Some options are to descend by sliding down a rope as well as repelling from the helicopter. Ways to ascend are by rope ladder and by hoist.

These techniques are needed for when the land may not be level enough or too dangerous for the aircraft to land and when Airmen need a fast extraction.

The combat search and rescue techniques are used in several situations such as to assist Airmen in the combat zone and even rescue civilians from natural disasters.

The rescue team uses the rough terrain surrounding D-M as practice grounds where they carry out fly-bys, landing and more.

The point of training like this is to learn to work together and to practice teamwork for combat search and rescue, where knowing how things need to be handled and doing it with a sense of urgency is essential.

“Training with each other allows us to be familiar with their techniques, tactics and procedures, and them with ours,” said a member of the 55th RQS. “That way, we can integrate more effectively when we deploy and don’t have to go through the growing pains that might occur when two groups start working together for the first time.”

The training keeps rescue teams’ skill sets sharp, so there is no confusion or time wasted when a real-world mission arises. By practicing regularly, these techniques can become second nature, therefore cutting short the chances of being at risk.

“The training is important because the more alternate insertion and extraction practice we get, the faster we become at it and the safer our equipment and Airmen will be,” a 55th RQS member said.

U.S. Air Force Airmen of the 563rd Rescue Group participate in day tactical training flight in Tucson June 27. The training was for both aerial gunners and pararescuemen.

U.S. Air Force pararescueman from the 48th Rescue Squadron assists each other in climbing back into a HH-60 Pave Hawk.

A U.S. Air Force pararescueman from the 48th Rescue Squadron descends from an HH-60 Pave Hawk during a training flight.

U.S. Air Force pararescueman from the 48th Rescue Squadron assess their location during the training exercise. Part of the training was to ascend into a helicopter by rope ladder and hoist.




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(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

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