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Air Force Pararescue Killed In Action


Air Force Pararescueman Dies in Mountain Rescue Training Accident

Air Force Tech Sgt. Peter Kraines, a special tactics pararescueman with the 24th Special Operations Wing, died on Tuesday from injuries he sustained while performing mountain rescue techniques in Boise, Idaho. He was 33 years old.

Kraines was part of an elite combat force that was trained and equipped to conduct full spectrum personnel recovery missions, including both conventional and unconventional combat rescue operations. He had deployed to Afghanistan and earned several awards and decorations, such as the Air Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

The incident is still under investigation, according to the Air Force. Col. Matthew Allen, commander of the 24th SOW, said in a statement: "This is a tragic loss to the Special Tactics community. We are grateful for the support from our community and our [Air Force Special Operations Command] teammates. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates at this time."

Kraines enlisted in the Air Force in March 2011 and completed the rigorous two-year pararescue training pipeline. He was assigned to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, before joining the 24th SOW at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in March 2017.

As a pararescueman, Kraines was qualified as a military static-line jumper, a free fall jumper, an Air Force combat scuba diver and an emergency medical technician. He was also skilled in advanced weapons and small unit tactics, airborne and military free fall parachute operations, high angle/confined space rescue operations and small boat/vehicle craft utilization.

Kraines is survived by his wife and two children.The history of Pararescue dates back to August 1943, when 21 people bailed out of a disabled C-46 over an uncharted jungle near the China-Burma border. The only way to reach the survivors was by parachuting medical personnel into the area. Lieutenant Colonel Don Fleckinger and two medical corpsmen volunteered for the mission, which became the first example of airborne rescue. For a month, they cared for the injured with the help of the natives until they were rescued. One of the survivors was news commentator Eric Severeid, who later praised the men who saved his life: "Gallant is a precious word; they deserve it." [^1^]

This incident highlighted the need for a specialized unit within the Air Force to rescue downed pilots and crew members in remote and hostile areas around the world. Pararescue was officially established in March 1946 as a branch of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Air Combat Command (ACC). Since then, Pararescuemen have participated in numerous conflicts and operations, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have also supported NASA missions and recovered astronauts after water landings.

Pararescuemen are among the most highly trained and versatile personnel recovery specialists in the world. They are experts in advanced weapons and small unit tactics, airborne and military free fall parachute operations, combat diving and scuba diving, high angle and confined space rescue operations, small boat and vehicle craft utilization, emergency medical care and trauma management. They are also capable of working with other special operations forces from all branches of the military. Their motto is "These Things We Do, That Others May Live." aa16f39245


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