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Pararescue Careerfield Description
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TSgt James J. Thede


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  • CEM Code 1T200
  • AFSC 1T291 Superintendent
  • Craftsman AFSC 1T271
  • Journeyman AFSC 1T251
  • Apprentice AFSC 1T231
  • Craftsman Helper AFSC 1T211

1. Specialty Summary. Supervises, plans, evaluates, and performs pararescue activities. Performs surface or air link in search, rescue, and recovery (SRR) operations functioning as aircrew members, and as surface elements and teams. Provides rapid response capability in adverse geographic and environmental conditions on land or water. Operates in friendly, denied, hostile, or sensitive areas. Provides survival and evasion assistance, emergency and field medical care, and security. Moves recovered personnel and materiel to safety or friendly control when recovery by aircraft is not possible. Related DoD Occupational Subgroup: 050.

2. Duties and Responsibilities:

2.1. Supports mission planning and preparation. Responds to warning orders or aircrew mission requirements. Studies terrain and situation. Prepares mission equipment, weapons, and munitions. Rehearses mission plan, performs reconnaissance, conducts back brief, safeguards information, and loads and configures aircraft.

2.2. Supervises and performs insertion, infiltration, exfiltration, and extraction functions. Performs flight following, and confirms waypoint passage. Performs aircrew duties to avoid and suppress air and surface threats through scanning, navigation assistance, and aerial gunnery operations. Provides guidance and input to aircraft commander for on-scene operations and confirms insertion point. Performs aerial insertion and extraction operations. Performs nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) warfare defense. Provides and performs survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE). Provides enroute field medical care. Provides recovery zone security and aircraft reception. Uses aerial and surface methods to load and assist in loading objectives. Offloads and transfers personnel and materiel.

2.3. Performs surface movement. Navigates on land or water, and conducts overt, low visibility, or clandestine movement in friendly, hostile, denied, or sensitive land and water areas. Directs and provides formation security. Designates and uses rallying points. Selects and prepares bivouac sites. Conducts surface search, contact, and on-scene authentication. Performs discrete electronic and visual communications and signaling activities. Uses firearms and munitions to perform immediate action drills and to provide security. Requests ground and aerial fire support. Provides reception for resupply operations. Performs scuba, adverse terrain, and mountain rescue operations. Provides on-scene triage and survivor handling. Provides emergency survival assistance and mission photographic documentation. Recovers priority aerospace material.

2.4. Provides intelligence and operations information in debriefings and mission reports.

2.5. Supports special missions. Supports the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in recovery of aerospace materiel. Guides recovery of priority NASA space materiel.

3. Specialty Qualifications:

3.1. Knowledge. Knowledge is mandatory of: mission planning and preparation; aircraft and load characteristics; infiltration and exfiltration; insertion and extraction; surface movement; objective area actions; debriefing and reporting; team leader actions; emergency and field medical treatment; adverse terrain and mountain operations; water operations; NBC warfare defense; SERE; night vision devices; firearms and munitions; communications and signaling; photographic documentation; legal responsibilities and ethics; vehicle operations; security, occupational safety and health, administration, and publications; individual fitness; and equipment qualification, inspection, maintenance, and accountability.

3.2. Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school or GED is mandatory. Also, completion of a certified emergency medical technician or paramedic course is desirable.

3.3. Training. For award of AFSC 1T231, completion of the following courses is mandatory:

3.3.1. Pararescue Indoctrination Training.

3.3.2. Airborne (Parachutist).

3.3.3. Combat Diver Qualification.

3.3.4. Combat Survival Training.

3.3.5. Water Survival Training.

3.3.6. United States Navy Underwater Egress Training.

3.3.7. Military Freefall Parachutist.

3.3.8. Pararescue Initial Qualification.

3.4. Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated:

3.4.1. 1T251. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1T231. Also, experience performing pararescue duties and participating in SRR operations.

3.4.2. 1T271. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1T251. Also, experience performing or supervising pararescue duties and participating in SRR operations.

3.4.3. 1T291. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1T271. Also, experience performing or managing pararescue functions and participating in SRR operations.

3.5. Other. The following are mandatory as indicated:

3.5.1. For entry, award, and retention of these AFSCs, physical qualification for aircrew, parachute, and marine diving duty according to AFI 48-123, Medical Examination and Standards.

3.5.2. For entry into this specialty, successful completion of the physical ability and stamina test (PAST).

3.5.3. For award and retention of AFSCs 1T231/51/71/91:

3.5.3.1. Qualification as a static line and military freefall parachutist, and as a scuba diver.

3.5.3.2. Qualification, currency, and proficiency according to pararescue operational directives.

3.5.3.3. Eligibility for a Secret security clearance according to AFI 31-501, Personnel Security Management Program.