Combat rescue operators in a category all their own

Combat rescue operators (CROs) from 2CER and 6 Aviation Regiment recently got a name change that better reflects their capability.

CAPTION: A soldier from 2CER abseils to a casualty in a confined space during personnel rescue training in Brisbane. Photographer not credited. Story by Major Carrie Robards.

Formally known as Army emergency response, combat rescue provides commanders with options to rescue personnel in a range of warfighting environments, including aviation, armoured and protected platforms, and from inaccessible locations.

Employment Category Manager at the Combined Arms Training Centre (CATC) WO2 Eron Sage said the change in name was part of a bigger review of the skillset.

“CATC recently sat the Employment Category Review and successfully proposed a role and name change,” WO2 Sage said.

“Because of combat rescue being a capability with small numbers, we’re responsible for employment category development to meet Army’s personnel-rescue requirements.”

The change to the employment category, which generates a vital capability for Army, has been embraced by CROs, including 6 Avn Regt Sapper Brendan Parkes.

“We’ve been able to draw on practices from other forces around the globe and it’s been exciting learning new skills and developing capability,” Sapper Parkes said.

“We’ve had the opportunity to work alongside the US Air Forces’ 320 Special Tactics Squadron, getting support from the aviation elements.

“This has allowed us to conduct isolated person, or downed aircrew retrieval, rope rescue and advanced winch training.”

Sapper Anthony Thompson, of Darwin-based 1CER, said the change was a step in the right direction for the trade.

“It’s important for everyone to understand how combat rescue can be used and where it needs to be to respond effectively,” Sapper Thompson said.

“Once the new training and equipment is fully integrated, we will be able to support aviation and the combat brigades in personnel rescue operations within Australia and overseas.”

WO2 Sage said rescue would operate across the full spectrum of operations, ensuring Army was ready to operate in a range of environments in any task required.

“In the context of accelerated warfare, Army needs to be ready to respond and operate across the full spectrum of operations, from high-intensity warfare, to humanitarian aid and disaster relief, and defence aid to civil communities,” WO2 Sage said.

“This change helps to achieve that.”

Story courtesy ARMY newspaper










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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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One thought on “Combat rescue operators in a category all their own

  • 24/08/2020 at 5:11 pm

    Great step forward to an area rarely considered/never practised in the past. Has both peacetime and wartime significance and application. Suggest that it be incorporated much like First Aid into ALL Corps and Regiments/Battalions, with the expertise being held within RAE who would then conduct the specialist courses, as it is not possible to apply the first aid until the person is rescued or removed from the aircraft or vehicle.
    One of the reasons why traditional tank suits incorporated a sewn in harness – so crewmen could be removed by grabbing the harness at the shoulder level!


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