Photo Essay: Pacific Thunder search & rescue

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, sits by the door of a HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is designed to test the combat and contingency readiness of United States and RoK forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, sits by the door of a HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is designed to test the combat and contingency readiness of United States and RoK forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, watches a departing HH-60 Pave Hawk helcopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Kuckovic and other SERE specialists were tested on their ability to successfully complete search and rescue missions during the week-long exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, watches a departing HH-60 Pave Hawk helcopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Kuckovic and other SERE specialists were tested on their ability to successfully complete search and rescue missions during the week-long exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, waits at a rendezvous point with simulated victims during the exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is an annual exercise hosted by Osan Air Base, focusing on combat readiness via search and rescue training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, waits at a rendezvous point with simulated victims during the exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is an annual exercise hosted by Osan Air Base, focusing on combat readiness via search and rescue training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operation Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, scans the sky for an incoming HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is a week-long exercise featuring joint training between United States and RoK forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operation Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, scans the sky for an incoming HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is a week-long exercise featuring joint training between United States and RoK forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

A snake slithers on the ground during a search and rescue mission for exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Search and rescue exercises involve testing contingency abilities in remote locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

A snake slithers on the ground during a search and rescue mission for exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Search and rescue exercises involve testing contingency abilities in remote locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operation Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, sends a smoke signal for an incoming HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is intended to buttress the United States' and RoK's military readiness, in order to provide stability to the peninsula of South Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operation Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, sends a smoke signal for an incoming HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is intended to buttress the United States' and RoK's military readiness, in order to provide stability to the peninsula of South Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Airman Danielle Trejo, a simulated injury victim, is helped into a lift-belt by a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. The exercise is designed to test the United States and RoK's abilities in numerous contingency situations, including search and rescue missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Airman Danielle Trejo, a simulated injury victim, is helped into a lift-belt by a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. The exercise is designed to test the United States and RoK's abilities in numerous contingency situations, including search and rescue missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Airman Danielle Trejo, a simulated injury victim, is lifted into an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is hosted by Osan Air Base, and features numerous United States and RoK aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Airman Danielle Trejo, a simulated injury victim, is lifted into an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is hosted by Osan Air Base, and features numerous United States and RoK aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Airman Danielle Trejo, a simulated injury victim, is treated for a broken arm during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. For the exercise, Trejo was rescued from a remote location by Survival, Evasion, Rescue and Escape specialists and hoisted into a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Airman Danielle Trejo, a simulated injury victim, is treated for a broken arm during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, in the Republic of Korea. For the exercise, Trejo was rescued from a remote location by Survival, Evasion, Rescue and Escape specialists and hoisted into a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, waits for take-off on an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is designed to test United States and RoK capabilities in defending South Korea under the terms of the Mutual Defense Treaty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)
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Tech. Sgt. Aaron Kuckovic, an 18th Operations Support Squadron Survial, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist, waits for take-off on an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during exercise Pacific Thunder April 14, 2014, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Pacific Thunder is designed to test United States and RoK capabilities in defending South Korea under the terms of the Mutual Defense Treaty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

An HH-60 Pave Hawk stands by as an A-10 taxis for takeoff during exercise Pacific Thunder April 18, 2014, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The week-long exercise was designed to test the contingency abilities of U.S. and RoK forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)
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An HH-60 Pave Hawk stands by as an A-10 taxis for takeoff during exercise Pacific Thunder April 18, 2014, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The week-long exercise was designed to test the contingency abilities of U.S. and RoK forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

An HH-60 Pave Hawk takes off from the flight line during exercise Pacific Thunder April 18, 2014, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Maintainers and special forces tested their contingency abilities during the week-long exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)
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An HH-60 Pave Hawk takes off from the flight line during exercise Pacific Thunder April 18, 2014, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Maintainers and special forces tested their contingency abilities during the week-long exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Pacific Thunder was a week-long exercise hosted by Osan Air Base featuring multiple operations from United States and RoK forces.
A particular function of the exercise was to test the U.S. and RoK's abilities in contingency situation, including search and rescue missions.
Flying aboard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape forces practiced their capabilities during PAC Thunder.
For the exercise, a SERE Airman and simulated casualties were dropped off in a remote location, simulating an emergency environment. They then had to find a way to communicate with friendly forces, while trekking through rough terrain to an appropriate rendezvous destination.
After signaling and being located, the simulated injury victim would then be hoisted aboard another helicopter by SERE forces, treated for their simulated wounds and taken back to safety at Osan AB.
The exercise requires the coordination of special forces with the helicopter pilots and maintenance, who all labor together to successfully execute under the most unpredictable of situations.