PJs bring calm to chaos

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Courtney Sebastianelli
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

Combat readiness involves an array of trainings to sustain a prepared force. In order to be a prepared force for any scenario -- Pararescumen, PJ’s, must train constantly.

The 38th Rescue Squadron conducted a Mass Casualty Full Mission Profile exercise at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Jan. 19, 2023 to enhance PJ’s capabilities and test the critical skills they may find themselves needing.

“These scenarios put our PJ’s into stressful situations where they’re forced to react to multiple contingencies in order to make a recovery happen,” said Lt. Col. Michael Vins, 38th RQS commander. “They’re training like they may have to fight one day.”

The squadron conducts training not only to sharpen skills but also to validate new team leaders, with the Mass Casualty Full Mission Profile exercise serving as one of several scenarios that up and coming Airmen must accomplish before being signed off on certain skill-level qualifications.

“Training like this builds up our 5-level and instructor corp,” Vins said. “We need a certain number of instructors in order to upgrade our 5 and 7 levels, and we need a certain number of 5 and 7 levels to deploy a full team of Pararescuemen, Combat Rescue Officers, and Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) specialists.”

In the event of a mass-casualty incident, the initial actions taken by those first on scene, often PJ’s, can greatly influence the outcome of patient survival.

There are many components for PJ’s to consider when responding to a mass-casualty event. They must make an initial scene assessment of the incident site, set up a casualty collection point, triage the wounded, provide movement of patients -- and in some cases do these things while maintaining security.

For this training scenario, PJ’s were required to triage eight patients, suffering from simulated blast injuries, gunshot wounds, traumatic amputations and burns, while actively combating a simulated enemy threat.

“We try to simulate a deployed environment,” said Captain Garrett Treaster, 38th RQS flight commander. The big thing is familiarization because we are trying to broaden everybody’s scope to be able to command and lead troops in chaotic situations.”

Communication and team work is a key component to remaining collected and focused in the midst of disorder, Treaster further explained.

“We try to make these training sessions as chaotic as possible,” he said. Doing stuff like this keeps us sharp on our skills. Team members become more familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, ultimately, we learn to work together and train for when the real deal happens so we can bring calm to the chaos.”