The Air Force Pararescue Jumper (PJ) training combines training for combat skills with EMT-Paramedic certification. The two year course Pipeline has an 80% attrition rate. Much of that attrition comes in the Indoctrination or Indoc phase.
PJs operate in combat zones as well as in demanding peacetime environments.
According to the Air Force,
Regardless of their command, the primary mission of Pararescue is personnel recovery specialist with emergency medical capabilities in peacetime and combat environments. They deploy by air-land-sea tactics into forward, non-permissive environments and provide the trauma medical care for injured personnel and may act as aircrew gunners and/or scanner on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft. They participate in search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), recovery support for NASA and conduct other operations as appropriate.
9-week Indoctrination (Indoc)
Indoctrination Course, Lackland AFB, Texas — This 9-week course recruits, selects and trains future PJs through extensive physical conditioning. Training accomplished at this course includes physiological training, obstacle course, marches, dive physics, dive tables, metric manipulations, medical terminology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, weapons qualifications, PJ history and leadership reaction course.
U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Ga. — Trainees learn the basic parachuting skills required to infiltrate an objective area by static line airdrop in a three-week course.
U.S. Air Force Combat Diver School, Panama City, Fla. — Trainees become combat divers, learning to use scuba and closed-circuit diving equipment to covertly infiltrate denied areas, conduct sub-surface searches and basic recovery operations. The six-week course provides training to depths of 130 feet, stressing development of maximum underwater mobility under various operating conditions.
U.S. Navy Underwater Egress Training, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla. — This course teaches how to safely escape from an aircraft that has ditched in the water. The one-day instruction includes principles, procedures and techniques necessary to get out of a sinking aircraft.
U.S. Air Force Basic Survival School, Fairchild AFB, Wash. — This two and a half-week course teaches basic survival techniques for remote areas. Instruction includes principles, procedures, equipment and techniques, which enable individuals to survive, regardless of climatic conditions or unfriendly environments and return home.
U.S. Army Military Free Fall Parachutist School, Fort Bragg, N.C., and Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz. — This course instructs trainees in free fall parachuting procedures. The five-week course provides wind tunnel training, in-air instruction focusing on student stability, aerial maneuvers, air sense and parachute opening procedures.
Paramedic Course, Kirtland AFB, N.M. — This 22-week course teaches how to manage trauma patients prior to evacuation and provide emergency medical treatment. Upon graduation, an EMT-Paramedic certification is awarded through the National Registry.
Pararescue Recovery Specialist Course, Kirtland AFB, N.M. — Qualifies airmen as pararescue recovery specialists for assignment to any pararescue unit worldwide. The 24-week training includes field medical care and extrication basics, field tactics, mountaineering, combat tactics, advanced parachuting and helicopter insertion/extraction.
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