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Pararescue Overview
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TSgt James J. Thede


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PARARESCUE MISSION

Regardless of their command, the primary mission of Pararescuemen is to provide rescue, recovery, medical treatment and evacuation in any environment at any time, day or night. PJ's deploy by air, land, or sea into forward, non-permissive environments. They may act as aircrew gunners and scanners on both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. They participate in search and rescue (SAR) and Combat search and rescue (CSAR) missions and perform other mission as appropriate.

EMPLOYMENT METHODS

Parachute operations:

  1. Static Line Parachute operations
  2. With combat equipment
  3. With SCUBA equipment
  4. Into forested areas
  5. Into bodies of water
  6. High Altitude Low Opening (Military Freefall)
  7. With combat equipment
  8. With Oxygen
  9. Into Bodies of Water
  10. High Altitude High Opening (HAHO)
  11. With Combat equipment
  12. With Oxygen

Waterborne Operations:

  1. SCUBA/Dregger (Rebreather)
  2. Aircraft boat drops
  3. Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC)
  4. Scout (surface) swimming

Mountain Operations:

  1. Rock/Ice climbing
  2. Repelling/Ascending
  3. High/low angle evacuation
  4. Horizontal evacuations

Helicopter Operations:

  1. Repelling
  2. Fast Rope
  3. Rope Ladder
  4. Hoist operations (with litter or forest penetrator)
  5. Gunner/scanner operations
  6. Helo cast

Overland Movement:

  1. Motorcycles
  2. All Terrain Vehicles (ATV's)
  3. Rescue All Terrain Transport (RATT)
  4. Motor Vehicle
  5. Team navigation

Arctic Operations:

  1. Cross country skiing
  2. Downhill skiing
  3. Snowmobiles
  4. Snowshoes
  5. Arctic sleds
  6. Crevasse operations

INCENTIVES:

  • Education - By completing Pararescue training, you earn college credits with the Community College of the Air Force. Currently, technical and upgrade training is worth over 35 semester hours towards an Associates Degree in Applied Science.

  • Travel - PJ's travel extensively in support of the Air Force global missions. You will support sister service components, allied forces, humanitarian relief efforts and other commitments.

  • Additional Pays - You receive 3 of the following pays (Based on your rank it may be better to receive flight pay rather than parachute pay)
    1. SCUBA/Dive pay: $150.00 per month
    2. Flight pay: $110.00 - $200.00 per month
    3. Parachutist pay: $110.00 - $165.00 per month (When HALO qualified the pay is $225.00 per month)
    4. Special Duty Incentive Pay (SDIP): $55.00 - $165.00 (based on skill level and time in skill level)

    DUTY LOCATIONS:

    Active duty:

    1. Hurlburt Field, FL
    2. Moody AFB, GA
    3. Holloman AFB, NM
    4. Nellis AFB, NV
    5. Kirtland AFB, NM
    6. Lackland AFB, TX
    7. Pope AFB, NC
    8. McCord AFB, WA
    9. Kadena AB, Okinawa
    10. Keflavik Air Station, Iceland
    11. RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom

    Guard/Reserve:

    1. Suffolk County, NY
    2. Moffett Field, CA
    3. Portland IAP, OR
    4. Patrick AFB, FL
    5. Kulis ANG, AK

    THE TRAINING PIPELINE:

    Pararescue training takes approximately 12-15 months to complete. It includes eight schools. You will probably get a chance to take vacation time at some point during training, but this cannot be guaranteed. Students travel from school to school as a class, with the ranking student in charge. Training consists of the following schools:

    1. Pararescue and Combat Control Indoctrination course
    2. US Army Airborne School
    3. US Army Combat Divers School
    4. US Navy Underwater Egress Training
    5. US Air Force Basic Survival School
    6. US Army Military Freefall Parachutist School
    7. Special Operations Combat Medic Course
    8. Pararescue Recovery Specialist Course

    ELIGIBILITY:

    1. Be a US citizen
    2. Be a Volunteer
    3. Be a male (based on current Department of Defense policies)
    4. Have a general score of at least 43 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test
    5. Be able to pass a Class III flight physical
    6. Have vision of best eye 20/70, worst eye 20/100; correctable to 20/20. Normal Color Vision. No Radial Karatotomy.
    7. Be able to obtain a secret security clearance
    8. Meet specific physical fitness standards
    9. Be a proficient swimmer

    IS PARARESCUE FOR YOU?

    By expressing an interest in Pararescue, you are taking a big step into a job with high demands, but strong rewards. Wearing the maroon beret is a distinction bestowed on very few men. It recognizes dedication to training and personal sacrifice. We demand the best from our force. Consider the following when making the decision:


  • Analyze why you want to be a PJ. If you are in it for the challenge and fast-paced life style you will probably be successful, if you want prestige and money...GO AWAY!

  • Understand that the mission comes first...necessitating personal sacrifice and discipline.

  • Adaptability and flexibility are important...you must be capable and willing to adapt to diverse mission requirements, environments, and working hours. Change and crisis management are part of the job.

  • Physical fitness is crucial. Be consistent and dedicated in your training program.

  • You must be comfortable living outdoors. A great deal of work is done in the field.

  • You must become a team member and work well with your teammates. Your team is your life's blood...they could mean the difference between life and death during both training and operational missions.

    QUALITY FIRST IS THE MOTTO AT THE INDOCTRINATION COURSE.