The war that rivals Vietnam as the United States’ longest still rages in Afghanistan. Near Kandahar, insurgent fighters ambush American and Allied soldiers, while the Taliban’s I.E.D.s – Improvised Explosive Devices – don’t distinguish between military and civilian, friend and foe.
In the heart of the fighting are the Pararescuemen (PJs) of the 38th Rescue Squadron, who have made it their mission to risk their lives to save those in peril. For the first time in their history, the PJs allow camera crews to extensively cover their missions in Afghanistan. Inside Combat Rescue is the story of the lives of these elite airmen on and off the battlefield.
(Read More >> Part Warrior. Part Medic. All Hero.)
When the rescue call rings out, the PJs rush to the extraction point in Pave Hawk helicopters. Talented pilots and gun crews give the PJs the best chance at completing their mission quickly and without any loss of life.
Deployment always begins with saying goodbye. Senior Airman Barry shares a moment with his parents before boarding the plane with the others. At just 22, he is the youngest member of the unit. Barry flies with two experienced airmen, Staff Sergeants Matt and Trevor. As the rookie in his three-person team, Barry gets many chances to prove his worth and learn on the job. Matt anxiously awaits the news from his wife, whether his first child will be a son or a daughter.
Another newcomer hails from a base in Nevada: First Lieutenant Jeff. As a Combat Rescue Officer (CRO) it is his job to strategize the missions and make sure that his PJs make it out alive. Although Afghanistan is his first deployment, he has trained hard for the opportunity and aims to hit the ground running. Jeff knows this is exactly where he should be and embraces the dangers he and the men will face.
The unit is also backed by experience. Team Leader Duane has 17 years of active duty behind him while Staff Sergeant Brett has six deployments in the past five years. Captain Seth, the Unit Commander, also offers his advice to the PJs, making sure they stay sharp during the hard months of deployment.
Four teams of PJs and CROs work around the clock to make sure the casualties of war get a second chance. See what it takes to be a PJ and what it means to serve by the motto- “These things we do that others may live.”
Inside Combat Rescue premieres Monday, February 18 at 10P