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Pararescue Gets It's Own Squadron
The 38th Rescue Squadron activated as the first active-duty pararescue squadron in the Air Force, at Moody AFB, GA, on May 7, 2001.
The 38th RQS is the first in the Air Force of a squadron of PJs without their accompanying helicopter crews.
The activation of the squadron consolidates pararescuemen, combat rescue officers, survival evasion resistance and escape specialists and support staff into one unit. It include members of the new combat-rescue-officer career field created in 2000. The squadron incorporates commissioned officers in the newly created combat rescue officer career field with traditional enlisted pararescuemen. In the new specialty, officers lead and command search and recovery operations and are the Air Force's experts in survival, evasion, resistance and escape. Future Combat Rescue Officers must pass through the 38th RQS for a week-long training session similar to what is experienced at Lackland AFB, TX, before actually moving on there.
The squadron's mission it to provide dedicated search and rescue specialists to the only active-duty rescue wing in the U.S. Air Force--the 347th Rescue Wing, also stationed at Moody AFB.
When full up, the squadron will have 136 personnel: 9 Combat Rescue Officers, 1 Flight Surgeon, 102 PJs, 3 survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists and 21 command staff and support personnel.
The history of the 38th RQS stretches back to the Korean War. It is the same squadron that pararescueman Bill Pitsenbarger was in when he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a firefight and rescue operations in Vietnam.