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PJs sharpen skills during exercise Razor’s Edge

U.S. Air Force pararescuemen assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., conduct exercise scenarios during Razor’s Edge, a two-week long pre-deployment exercise, at Parker, Ariz., April 12, 2019. Practicing real-world scenarios helps pararescuemen execute their core function of personnel recovery in austere environments downrange. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine Legate)

A U.S. Air Force HC-130J Combat King II performs heavy equipment parachute drops during Razor’s Edge, a two-week long pre-deployment exercise, at Parker, Ariz., April 12, 2019. Razor’s Edge exercises combat search and rescue capabilities and allows the Airmen to maintain readiness for the high-end fight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine Legate)

U.S. Air Force pararescuemen assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., conduct personnel parachute drops during Razor’s Edge, a two-week long pre-deployment exercise, at Parker, Ariz., April 12, 2019. Razor’s Edge exercises capabilities and allows the Airmen to maintain readiness for the high-end fight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine Legate)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 J Combat King II rest on the flightline at Avi Suquilla Airport in Parker, Ariz., April 16, 2019. Airmen from various squadrons participated in the combat search and rescue training exercise, Razor's Edge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Giovanni Sims)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Moses Mhayamaguru, 943rd flight surgeon, prepares medical supplies while in flight during exercise Razor's Edge, April 17, 2019. During the exercise, combat search and rescue team members honed their skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Giovanni Sims)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) --

The 48th Rescue Squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base participated in exercise Razor’s Edge April 8-18.

Razor’s Edge is a two-week long exercise in which pararescuemen train to be better prepared for unilateral and joint combat search and rescue operations in any situation and environment. To meet these expectations they endure rigorous training reflective of real-world scenarios that they may encounter downrange.

This Razor’s Edge included combat rescue officers, pararescuemen, survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists and multiple combat mission support personnel from the 48th RQS, members from the 943rd Aerospace Medical Squadron and 60th Medical Group critical care air transport and tactical critical care evacuation teams and support from the 79th RQS, 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, 563rd Operations Support Squadron Aerial Delivery Support Branch and 71st Special Operations Squadron.

“Before each team deploys we do a thorough mission analysis of the combat zones they’ll be deploying to,” said Master Sgt. Sean Herlihy, 48th RQS Guardian Angel flight chief. “We look at the most probable courses of action with regard to (infiltration) and (exfiltration) platforms that the teams will most likely be using.”

With this information, the 48th RQS sets up scenarios to test the team’s abilities. This iteration of Razor’s Edge had the pararescuemen deal with a multitude of distance problems that required personnel and heavy equipment parachute drops and water extractions.

“We have teams who are capable of parachuting into the water and we have helicopter teams who are capable of recovering isolated personnel in a maritime environment,” Herlihy said.

Going through these exercise scenarios prior to their deployment helps the team establish a clear vision of what’s to come and arms them with the skills to successfully execute their core function of personnel recovery downrange.

“It’s a fantastic effort from both operations and logistics, and a tremendous amount of man hours goes to it from all sides,” Herlihy said. “It’s pretty awesome to watch it all come together in the course of two weeks.”

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