347th RQG conducts readiness exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Deanna Muir
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
The 347th Rescue Group conducted a deployment readiness exercise at various locations in Georgia and Florida, Feb. 21-27, 2023.

The week-long exercise was built to test and expose Airmen to theater-specific learning objectives and combat requirements to simulate real-world scenarios including mass casualty recovery under fire, water rescue and live fire training.

“Exposure to these scenarios saves lives by giving the crews the confidence to do the job,” said Master Sgt. John Rosenberg, 347th RQG Weapons and Tactics superintendent and aerial gunner. “It saves lives by making our reactions second nature. It enables us to push ourselves as far as we can and then a little further to make the mission happen.”

Artificial boundaries are set in training environments to mitigate and reduce overall risk; however, the end state is to provide an accurate representation of combat operations to challenge the personnel recovery task force, said Col. Chris Richardson, 347th RQG commander.

A PRTF is a specialized team that may consist of any variety of aircraft, ground vehicles, or maritime vessels. They are capable of locating, authenticating and protecting isolated personnel from adversary threats while providing force protection and mission command and control support.

Doing this as a PRTF allows these units to strengthen tactics, techniques and procedure execution while allowing leaders to be challenged in risk calculus and decision making.

“All members of the PRTF will be expected to execute to the highest level in combat environments – we strive to get as close to that as the training environment will allow,” Richardson said.

This training included many units across the 23rd Wing as well as the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, and U.S. Navy and Coast Guard units – each bringing a vital skill set for mission success and represent units involved in real-world rescue scenarios.

Historically, forces came together from multiple rescue units to fill combat requirements, but with Air Force Force Generation and Global Force Management experts at Air Combat Command, the 347th RQG was able to align combat search and rescue forces from a single location to train and deploy together – allowing consistent access to one another to ensure combat mission readiness.

“It makes preparation a lot easier when your deployed units are at the same base,” Rosenberg said. “It enables us time to work together to harness our strengths and work on our weaknesses so we can better train as a group and not just individual squadrons. It allows us to forge a rescue group that is prepared for war.”

This exercise allowed the unit to take the time to educate Airmen on theater specifics, the potential enemy, terrain and conditions, and the mission ahead.

“Our 347th Operations Support Squadron Weapons and Tactics shop has done a tremendous job of researching mission and situation reports from actual missions in theater to build similar profiles for this spin-up,” Richardson said. We train hard to ensure safe and successful execution of our mission.

“I’m proud to be working beside and with these outstanding rescue warriors – from operations and maintenance to support,” he continued. They are the anchor to our motto – These Things We Do, That Others May Live.”