Home : Media : News : News Article View

Rescue Airmen: Low Density, High Demand

By Senior Airman Rhett Isbell | 18th Wing Public Affairs | Oct. 9, 2019

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 33rd Rescue Squadron (RQS) at Kadena Air Base, Japan, train, plan and execute every day to ensure they have what it takes to help when someone’s life is on the line.

With a motto as succinct as, ‘That others may live’, it’s clear the priority of the 33rd RQS is saving as many people as possible from otherwise dire circumstances no matter the cost to themselves.

“We provide a reliable combat search and rescue platform to aid in exercises and real-world operations in the Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility,” said Airman 1st Class Jack Peterson, 33rd RQS special missions aviator. “I think we give people peace of mind, knowing somebody’s going to come looking for them if they go down.”

Being capable of providing this high-priority service at a moment’s notice doesn’t happen without extensive training to ensure the entire team is prepared for what’s required on a rescue mission.

“We go out and practice regularly,” said Capt. Howard Palmer, 33rd RQS flight commander. “We’ll fly out and train in situation with simulated bad guys where we have to get through them to rescue members."

These training missions also cover many other aspects needed during a real-world rescue such as low-level flying, hoisting, water operations, entering contested environments, and many others the rescue Airmen rely on. Conducting operations with so much on the line requires Airmen to have an unwavering, as well as caring, mindset.

“I decided to go into the rescue mission because it allows me to help people,” Palmer said. “When someone’s having the worst day of their life, you get to be the one that goes in and saves them.”

Airmen from the 33rd RQS have found one thing above all others makes the hard work worth it.

“It’s a small community,” Palmer said. “People have said, ‘Low density, high demand’ and it helps build some pretty strong bonds. I stay because of those bonds and being able to do a mission that means a lot to me.”

Like Us
Follow Us



Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, 11th MEU Build Partnerships in Western Pacific
Digital art and photos were used for this layout and design to inform an online audience via social media about the role of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the 7th Fleet area of operations. The Marines and Sailors of the 11th MEU are deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners, and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.
Oct. 17, 2019 - SOUTH CHINA SEA -- Marines and Sailors from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine

Navy Team Helps Ebeye Defend Against Mosquitoes
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Michael Aberin from Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 6 works with Kwajalein Disaster Manager Abon Arelong, left, and an Ebeye Hospital microbiologist to perform respirator fit tests.
Oct. 17, 2019 - KWAJALEIN, Marshall Islands -- Stomping through layers of trash, a group of intrepid vector control

Senate Confirms Barrett to be Air Force Secretary
Barbara Barrett was confirmed by the Senate Oct. 16, 2019, to be the 25th Secretary of the Air Force. As an experienced pilot, former ambassador and senior government official, Barrett was praised for her wide experience and long history with aviation and the United States military.
Oct. 17, 2019 - WASHINGTON -- The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Barbara Barrett to be the 25th Secretary of the

Eielson Firefighters Continue Traditions with New Vehicle
354th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department members propel Tender 85 into the station during a push-in ceremony at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 15, 2019. The vehicle will act as a portable hydrant for the unit to use in areas without a hydrant system.
Oct. 17, 2019 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The 354th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) fire department officially

Guam Sailors Celebrate 244th Navy Birthday with Ball
This photo shows at a ceremony celebrating the Navy’s 244th birthday,
Oct. 17, 2019 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- Hundreds of Guam-based Sailors and guests celebrated the U.S. Navy’s 244th