Special Tactics Pararescue Airman Dies in Mountain Training Accident

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Peter Kraines (U.S. Air Force)
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Peter Kraines (U.S. Air Force)

A U.S. Air Force Special Tactics airman died Tuesday during mountain rescue training, officials said.

Tech. Sgt. Peter Kraines, 33, a pararescueman with the 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida, died "from injuries sustained in an incident while performing mountain rescue techniques in Boise, Idaho," Air Force Special Operations Command said Thursday in a release. Officials are investigating the incident.

According to the Idaho Press, citing the local county coroner's office, Kraines died from blunt force trauma sustained after he fell roughly 40 feet in the Black Cliffs area. The climbing area is roughly 20 miles from Boise.

The services said Kraines enlisted in the service in March 2011. Upon completing the two-year pararescue training program, he was assigned to the 347th Rescue Group, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Kraines was selected in 2017 to join the ranks within Special Tactics and was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

"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."

As a Special Tactics pararescueman, Kraines was "specially trained and equipped for immediate deployment into combat operations to conduct combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations," the release said.

His experience included military static-line jumping, free-fall jumping, combat scuba diving and was certified as an emergency medical technician.

Kraines was awarded various service medals, to include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Special Tactics airmen are airmen that are assigned to special tactics careers at

the 24th SOW, which includes combat controllers, Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) members, special operations weather technicians, and pararescuemen; combat rescue officers, Special Tactics Officers (STO), and Air Liaison Officers (ALO) are additionally officer career fields within Special Tactics community.

Both AFSOC and Air Combat Command utilize pararescue and TACP airmen, according to 1st Lt. Jaclyn Pienkowski, a spokeswoman for the Wing.

However, if assigned to Special Tactics at AFSOC, "individuals in these career fields would require additional training," Pienkowski told Military.com last year.

"Pararescuemen can be assigned to a [Special Tactics Squadron] without an assessment; however, they require additional training through Special Tactics Training Squadron before they go to an STS," she said.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.

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