Rescued from Enemy Territory

An injured pilot is in the area controlled by the enemy. He needs help to escape, and the Swedish rescue group is tasked with getting him out. This is the scenario for one of the missions during exercise Loyal Arrow.

CSAR in Loyal Arrow. Photo: Louise Levin
Polish helicopter MI-8 W3.
Polish helicopter MI-8 W3. Photo: Louise Levin
Photo: Carina Wrangberth
Photo: Carina Wrangberth
Polish helicopter MI-8 W3. Photo: Louise Levin
Photo: Carina Wrangberth
Photo: Carina Wrangberth

Polish Mi-8 W3 helicopters fly over the area, and when they have found the coordinates to where the injured pilot is located, they land somewhere close to it in order to drop off the Swedish rescue group, and then they leave the area. The rule is; quickly in and quickly out.

– We are practicing a high risk mission, says Hans who is responsible for training the rescue group.

Personnel Recovery

The rescue group, a patrol, consists of eight Special Forces soldiers, at least two of them trained as paramedics. These soldiers are trained to remain in place and to defend themselves against the enemy. These are best soldiers in the Swedish Army, and they are specially trained for rescue operations of civilians as well as military personnel. They are able to operate day and night. The mission is complicated, and requires a lot from the rescue group. During the whole of the rescue-mission, the injured gets medical treatment.

Personnel Recovery is an expression that covers all kinds of rescue of people. The part that is being exercised is called combat search and rescue, CSAR, which requires both the rescued and the rescuers to be specially trained and to have special equipment. For CSAR, there is often a lot of assets available, such as planes and helicopters.

Useful Experience

During exercise Loyal Arrow, the Swedish rescue group from the airborne squadron of the Third Cavalry Regiment at Karlsborg, gets an opportunity to practice the dangerous missions they are trained for. The group is on standby for ten days, ready to be deployed anywhere in the world.

– We have had fruitful cooperation with the Polish helicopter crews. They have been most supportive when we have planned our missions. They are skilled and dedicated to their jobs, says Hans.

– Loyal Arrow has given us plenty of experience in planning missions with personnel from different countries, and cooperation with aircraft. We have learned a lot from this exercise, he says.

After the summer there is a three week CSAR course in France, the Joint Personnel Recovery Standardisation Course. This is a NATO course.

– It will be great to participate in that training course. It is the very essence on CSAR, he ends.