Special Warfare Training Squadron - Pararescue & Combat Rescue Officer School

Providing the highest quality pararescuemen and combat rescue officer personnel capable of worldwide deployment for rescue and recovery operations.


United States Air Force pararescuemen, also known as PJs, are the only Department of Defense specialty specifically trained and equipped to conduct conventional or unconventional rescue and recovery operations. PJs are the force of choice for assisted survivor recovery.

A pararescueman's primary function is as a Personnel Recovery specialist, with emergency medical capabilities in humanitarian and combat environments. They deploy in any available manner, to include air-land-sea tactics, into restricted environments to authenticate, extract, treat, stabilize and evacuate injured personnel, while acting in an enemy-evading, recovery role. PJs participate in conventional or non-conventional recovery, combat search and rescue, recovery support for NASA and conduct other operations as appropriate.

Pararescuemen are among the most highly trained emergency trauma specialists in the U.S. military. They must maintain a National Paramedic certification throughout their careers. With this medical and rescue expertise, along with their deployment capabilities, pararescuemen are able to perform life-saving missions in the world's most remote areas.

Their motto "That Others May Live" reaffirms the pararescueman's commitment to saving lives and self-sacrifice. Without pararescuemen, thousands of service members and civilians would have been unnecessarily lost in past conflicts and natural disasters.


Pararescuemen complete the same technical training as EMT-Paramedics. Plus the following physical and specialized training.

Special Warfare Assessment and Selection and Pre-dive, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas -- This 8-week course recruits, selects and trains future PJs through extensive physical conditioning. Training accomplished at this course includes physiological training, obstacle course, rucksack 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. Army Combat Divers School, Key West, Fla. -- In Key West, trainees become combat divers, learning to use scuba to infiltrate areas undetected in the four-week school. This 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 four-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 24-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 20-week training includes field tactics, mountaineering, combat tactics, advanced parachuting and helicopter insertion/extraction.