Training to execute the no fail mission

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A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the Combat Team Member Course receives instruction during training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 26, 2020. CTMC gives combat search and rescue Airmen the opportunity to train on a wide variety of skills over a two month period. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Jacob T. Stephens)
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Airmen assigned to the 68th Rescue Squadron Combat Team Member Course performed combat marksman and small unit tactics training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., from June 24 to July 1, 2020.

The CTMC is a two-month long training course designed to train combat search and rescue Airmen on a variety of skills used to successfully execute their mission downrange.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the Combat Team Member Course fire weapons during training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, June 25, 2020. CTMC is a training course giving Airmen training on skills valuable to the successful execution of their mission downrange. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob T. Stephens)

“Combat marksman and small unit tactics are designed to provide students a very consolidated weapons and tactics upgrade taught both organically and by civilian professionals,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dustin Gorski, 68th RQS pararescueman. “A sound tactician is key to providing the best CSAR for the Department of Defense. This training is a cornerstone in ensuring men and women are returned from a hostile theatre.”

This portion of the CTMC focused on Airmen’s proficiencies and understandings in marksmanship with both a rifle and handgun, as well as learning small unit tactics that included patrolling, clearing houses and other movements.

“The CTMC is the most realistic and standardized upgrade training for newly appointed pararescuemen and combat rescue officers,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Andrada, 68th RQS operations superintendent. “One of the major impacts that the Field Training Unit has on these Airmen is we are focused on course content and delivery. We have the ability to narrow our aperture on the individuals experience and performance to ensure each student has been exposed to a standard developed from our real-world mission analysis. In doing this well, we lower the risk to mission by bolstering our formations confidence with highly trained wingman to our left and right, ‘so that others may live’.”

These Airmen can be tasked with challenges and obstacles in several different theatres and locations, all of which require the most ready, well-rounded Airmen to perform the skills they learn in training throughout their careers.

“Real-world missions happen all the time with different variability,” said Gorski. “Some missions can be conducted in friendly, non-contested environments while others can be conducted in highly contested areas. In contested areas, it is imperative that the rescue team be highly proficient in both marksmanship and tactics.”

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the Combat Team Member Course fires a weapon during training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, June 25, 2020. CTMC is a two-month training course for combat search and rescue Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob T. Stephens)

The CSAR mission is inherently dangerous and the caliber of training they receive must meet and exceed their needs to be able to safely, effectively and efficiently execute their mission. These Airmen are constantly training, learning and bettering themselves to ensure their readiness to execute their critical mission set.

“Personnel Recovery is a core function of the Air Force and like many roles and responsibilities within our force, it is a no fail mission,” said Andrada. “Additionally, having the skills, knowledge, and abilities required of our positions; we are seasoned with the intangibles like intuition, wisdom, and proven dedication to duty. Our people is what makes us a center of excellence and why we continue to produce rescue warriors who are prepared to meet the needs when the call for rescue sounds out across the globe.”

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