Coast Guard Delivers Air National Guard Pararescueman 1400 Miles

From the Editor: Over the last two days, the Coast Guard and California Air National Guard have worked together to conduct a long-range medevac 1,400 miles southwest of San Diego.

A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, from Air Station Sacramento flew five Pararescueman, from the 129th Rescue Wing California Air National Guard at Moffett Air Field, to conduct a medevac of a 57-year-old male off the sailing vessel Wind Child. Once on scene with the sailing vessel the C-130 aircrew deployed the California Air National Guard Pararescueman.

Before posting some pictures of the medevac, I wanted to answer the question, what is a Pararescueman? I thought the best place to go was the source, http://ParaRescue.com. Here’s how they describe them:

Saving lives, both military and civilian, is what being a PARARESCUEMAN is all about. Because of the unique nature of this job, pararescuemen receive exceptional training and qualification in a variety of combat, search and rescue and medical support expertise. Also known as PJs, this group of Air Force elite is the only one in the Department of Defense specifically trained and equipped to conduct conventional and unconventional rescue processes, making them the ideal force to handle personnel recovery and combat search and rescue operations.

To accomplish this mission, PJ’s deploy around the world via the air, land and sea into a wide range of environments to extract, treat, stabilize and evacuate injured personnel.

Additionally, Pararescuemen are among the most highly trained emergency trauma specialists in the U.S. military and they must earn and maintain an emergency medical technician paramedic qualification throughout their careers.

This medical and rescue expertise, along with their deployment capabilities, allows PJs to perform life-saving missions anywhere in the world, at any time. Their motto, “That Others May Live,” reaffirms the PJ’s commitment to saving lives and self-sacrifice. Without PJs, thousands of service members and civilians would have been unnecessarily lost in past conflicts and natural disasters.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Jack Rittichier was an exchange pilot serving with the U.S. Air Force 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron in Vietnam. He lost his life on June 9, 1968 while attempting to rescue the pilot of a downed Marine aircraft. Also killed when their helicopter was shot down by enemy fire were, the copilot, Captain Richard C. Yeend, Jr., USAF, the flight engineer, Staff Sergeant Elmer L. Holden, USAF, and the pararescue jumper Sergeant James D. Locker, USAF.. The PJ’s and Coasties have a lot in common, both go into dangerous situations, putting their lives on the line, in order to save the lives of total strangers.

Here are a few pictures of the deployment.

PACIFIC OCEAN Ð Pararescuemen from the 129th Rescue Wing California Air National Guard prepare to jump from the rear door of a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane approximately 1,400 miles southwest of San Diego April 1, 2010.The Coast Guard and Air National Guard worked together to respond to medevac an injured 57-year-old man by dropping four pararescuemen, an inflatable boat and other rescue and survival equipment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Henry G. Dunphy.

PACIFIC OCEAN Ð Pararescuemen from the 129th Rescue Wing California Air National Guard jump from the rear door of a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane approximately 1,400 miles southwest of San Diego April 1, 2010.The Coast Guard and Air National Guard worked together to respond to medevac an injured 57-year-old man by dropping four pararescuemen, an inflatable boat and other rescue and survival equipment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Henry G. Dunphy.

PACIFIC OCEAN - Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Booth, a drop master from Air Station Sacramento, pushes watertight drop boxes containing rescue equipment out the rear door of a C-130 Hercules airplane approximately 1,400 miles southwest of San Diego April 1, 2010.The Coast Guard and Air National Guard worked together to respond to medevac an injured 57-year-old man by dropping four pararescuemen, an inflatable boat and other rescue and survival equipment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Henry G. Dunphy.

For more information about Lt Rittichier visit the Coast Guard Historian.
For more information on the USAF Pararescuemen, visit this site.

Related Posts

2 Comments

  1. Andy Skerbeck says:

    I believe that this operation was to rescue my brother in law Mike. This man is an important part of my family, I have spent countless hours with him over many years from his job as a back country ranger to sailing local races to swiftsure. He has taught me so many valuable lessons.Mike has also participated in many rescue operations himself so I believe that we have a fairly good idea of the risks and challenges associated and I believe that I can speak for our entire family when I offer a Huge THANK YOU to ALL of the countless people that participated in this recue operation.

  2. Sharron Kron says:

    We’ve tried to picture the team who rescued my brother in law, and the photos give us a closer idea of what it took, and who these heroic medevac people are. I have overwhelming gratitude, repect, and awe for what it took to bring Michael to safety. Thank you for who you all are, and for what you do.
    Sincerely,
    Sharron Kron