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106th Rescue Wing Conducts Comprehensive Rescue Training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Sean Madden,
  • 106th Rescue Wing

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. - New York Air National Guard members assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing participated in a combat search and rescue exercise May 4.

The exercise at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base involved Airmen from the 102nd Rescue Squadron, which flies HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft, 103rd Rescue Squadron, 106th Security Forces Squadron and the 106th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“The exercise put into practice a full rescue effort with specific circumstances,” said 1st Lt. Alex Triani, a combat rescue officer assigned to the 103rd Rescue Squadron and exercise planner. “For this training, extraction from a confined space was a major focus.”

The mission scenario featured a convoy of friendly troops, represented by members assigned to the Security Forces Squadron, who encountered an attack with an improvised explosive device, resulting in casualties trapped in overturned vehicles.

Responding combat search and rescue assets were pararescuemen and combat rescue officers who, while laden with their weapons and equipment, parachuted to the scene from an HC-130J.

Once on the ground, the rescue personnel had to extract “injured” security forces Airmen from their damaged vehicles.

Pararescuemen treated simulated injuries on the Security Forces personnel and practiced extraction techniques using the “jaws of life” on overturned vehicles with rescue mannequins inside.

“We’re in an advantageous place at a Rescue Wing where we have Air Force Special Operations to train with,” said Staff Sgt. Brayton Cronk, a 106th Rescue Wing Security Forces Defender and an exercise team leader. “It’s not typical that we do, but we’re working toward utilizing that local asset for future, advanced training.”

The rescuers removed the simulated casualties to a position where an HC-130J rescue aircraft and crew landed to evacuate them. Pararescuemen provided medical care for the patients onboard until the aircraft landed and medical personnel took over at a simulated field hospital.

“Thanks to the participation of all involved, the exercise was successful in meeting the objectives we set and gave more members of the unit exposure to the mission of saving lives,” said Triani.

The 106th Rescue Wing, based at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York, operates and maintains the HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft and the HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter. It is home to a special warfare squadron with pararescuemen and combat rescue officers specializing in rescue and recovery. The 106th Rescue Wing deploys for domestic and overseas operations.