Rescue Training in the Djibouti Desert

Pararescuemen of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron boarded a Marine Corps MH-53, along with an Army site security team, for a simulated joint rescue mission in Djibouti’s Grand Bara desert. Deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, rescuers from all three services train to function seamlessly as a single unit. “When you’re working in a joint environment, it can never be assumed that everything will run smooth in an emergency,” said Maj. John Graver, the Air Force Reservist in charge of the 82nd ERQS. Coordinated through the Joint Operations Center at Camp Lemonier, the multi-service team scrambled to secure the simulated crash scene, recovering six role-playing victims from the desert, June 16. Covering the Horn of Africa, the units “owe it to the people we may be tasked to save to practice these operations whenever we can,” underscored Graver. (Djibouti report by SSgt. Austin May)