Whenever an Air Force pilot crashes or U.S. soldiers are injured and in need of rescue, it’s the pararescuemen who get the call. Part paramedic, part special forces solder, these Air Force PJs (which they are commonly called) are the finest combat search-and-rescue force in the world.
The PJ’s job is to locate, rescue and then keep survivors alive while delivering them to a field hospital or doctor. Pararescuemen are trained to use any means necessary to reach survivors, from skydiving to scaling a mountain cliff to scuba diving at night to parachuting in with a snowmobile. Also trained as special forces soldiers, PJs are equally capable of fighting their way in and out of any rescue situation.
Take a look at these photos of Air Force pararescuemen in action during a training mission off the Florida coast, and then check out the January 2014 issue of Boys’ Life magazine to learn more about this elite search-and-rescue force.