Kadena Airmen Make Big Splash to Aid Injured

Rescue personnel from Kadena AB, Japan, provided medical assistance to two injured mariners aboard a Panamanian freighter Sept. 27 located about 750 nautical miles north of the island of Saipan. “I’m glad that we were able to respond and provide the medical assistance desperately required by those injured crew members,” said Maj. Jason Pifer, commander of the 31st Rescue Squadron. After flying out to the ship from Kadena aboard an MC-130, six pararescuemen and special tactics airmen from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron performed a freefall jump into the Pacific Ocean from 3,500 feet. They then used their inflatable zodiac boats to approach the freighter and then board it. They administered medical aid to the injured crewmembers, one of whom was in critical condition with head injuries. The Air Force said the airmen would remain aboard the freighter until the two injured persons could be evacuated via Navy helicopters to a hospital on Guam. (Kadena report by Maj. John Hutcheson)