No Airman Left Behind: PAC-T 17-1 concludes rescue training

An Airman assigned to the 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, marshals an HH-60 Pave Hawk taking off for a combat search and rescue training mission at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. The mission was part of Exercise Pacific Thunder, which is a Pacific Air Forces-wide exercise that provides rescue teams with a realistic scenario to practice CSAR missions in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vic tor J. Caputo)

An Airman assigned to the 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, marshals an HH-60 Pave Hawk taking off for a combat search and rescue training mission at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. The mission was part of Exercise Pacific Thunder, which is a Pacific Air Forces-wide exercise that provides rescue teams with a realistic scenario to practice CSAR missions in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vic tor J. Caputo)

Three HH-60 Pave Hawks assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, are prepared for training missions at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. The 33rd RQS was one of the units participating in Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1, a Pacific Air Forces combat search and rescue exercise held in the ROK. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

Three HH-60 Pave Hawks assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, are prepared for training missions at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. The 33rd RQS was one of the units participating in Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1, a Pacific Air Forces combat search and rescue exercise held in the ROK. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

Senior Airman Paul Rodriguez, 31st Rescue Squadron pararescueman, prepares for a combat search and rescue mission during Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. Exercise Pacific Thunder is a Pacific Air Forces exercise that combines the rescue capabilities of U.S. and ROK air force rescue units with the close air support of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron, in realistic training missions flown in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

Senior Airman Paul Rodriguez, 31st Rescue Squadron pararescueman, prepares for a combat search and rescue mission during Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. Exercise Pacific Thunder is a Pacific Air Forces exercise that combines the rescue capabilities of U.S. and ROK air force rescue units with the close air support of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron, in realistic training missions flown in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

A combat search and rescue team assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepares to launch for a training mission during Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. Exercise Pacific Thunder is a Pacific Air Forces exercise that combines the rescue capabilities of U.S. and ROK air force rescue units with the close air support of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron, in realistic training missions flown in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

A combat search and rescue team assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepares to launch for a training mission during Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. Exercise Pacific Thunder is a Pacific Air Forces exercise that combines the rescue capabilities of U.S. and ROK air force rescue units with the close air support of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron, in realistic training missions flown in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

An HH-60 Pave Hawk operated by a combat search and rescue team assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, is prepared for takeoff during Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. Exercise Pacific Thunder, which is a Pacific Air Forces-wide exercise, provides rescue teams with a realistic scenario to practice CSAR missions in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

An HH-60 Pave Hawk operated by a combat search and rescue team assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, is prepared for takeoff during Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1 at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 2, 2017. Exercise Pacific Thunder, which is a Pacific Air Forces-wide exercise, provides rescue teams with a realistic scenario to practice CSAR missions in mountainous Korean terrain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --

Exercise Pacific Thunder 17-1 wrapped up after more than two weeks of intense combat search and rescue training across the ROK.

Rescue teams comprised of aircraft and personnel from the 25th Fighter Squadron, the 33rd and 31st Rescue Squadrons, and the ROK air force flew sorties to rescue and escort personnel simulating downed pilots back to Osan.

“[These] scenarios didn’t play out exactly how they were planned, [but] their ability to assess the situation and then adjust their plan in the heat of the moment is a testament to their professionalism, flexibility and dedication to returning their fellow service members to friendly forces,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Pevehouse, 51st Operations Support Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist.

While the primary purpose of the exercise was to provide continuous practice for the CSAR teams, an ancillary opportunity for pilots to practice their SERE skills was present on each mission, as each downed pilot spent extended periods of time in the wilderness with SERE specialists.

“[We] look forward to learning new lessons throughout this exercise, lessons we can take and make sure we never learn when lives are actually on the line,” said Lt. Col. Razvan Radoescu, 25th FS commander.

The ultimate goal is to have Pacific Air Forces CSAR teams prepared to accomplish their mission, no matter what stands in the way.

“The brave men and women who serve today…can do so with the full confidence that if they are captured, become missing, or fall in battle, this nation will spare no effort to bring them home. This our solemn pledge: However long it takes, whatever it takes, whatever the cost.”  -  Paul Walfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, September 2004