An elite Air Force PJ serving with the 24th Special Operations Wing (24th SOW) has died during the mountain rescue training mission in Idaho. The Air Force special tactics pararescueman identified as Tech. Sgt. Peter Kraines died from injuries he sustained while performing mountain rescue techniques in Boise, Idaho on Tuesday, the Air Force revealed in their statement on Thursday.
The incident is still under investigation, the Air Force statement added.
As a Special Tactics pararescueman, Kraines served in 24th Special Operations Wing (Air Force Special Tactics). The unit’s headquarters is located at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The unit has component groups located in North Carolina, Georgia and Washington. It is the third special operations wing in Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
Tech. Sgt Kraines was trained to conduct combat search and rescue and personnel recovery missions. Among his many awards and decorations is an Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, an Air Force Commendation Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border.
“This is a tragic loss to the Special Tactics community,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Allen, commander of the 24th SOW. “We are grateful for the support from our community and our [Air Force Special Operations Command] teammates. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates at this time.”
Peter Kraines enlisted in the United States Air Force in March 2011 and immediately entered the two-year PJ training pipeline, the Air Force said.
Upon completion of the program, he was assigned to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. He was eventually selected to join the 24th SOW and assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina on March 2017.
Beyond his training in combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations, Kraines was also a military static-line jumper, a free fall jumper, an Air Force combat scuba diver and certified as an emergency medical technician, according to the Air Force release. He was trained to conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations across the spectrum of conflict to prepare for the fight, and win our nation’s wars.
His tragic death is a huge loss for the SOF community and the U.S. military overall.