Photo Essay: Pacific Thunder search & rescue
By Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2014
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.