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Air Force 82nd ERQS participates in Exercise Bull Shark 24-2

Air Force 82nd ERQS MV-22 Osprey hoist a pararescuemen during Exercise Bull Shark 24-2
An MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft extracts a U.S. Air Force pararescueman assigned to the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron from the Gulf of Tadjoura during Exercise Bull Shark 24-2, May 5, 2024. Exercise Bull Shark enables readiness training for U.S. joint forces, Djiboutian military forces and additional partners during the multinational, 2-day field training exercise. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Olivia Gibson.
Story by Senior Airman Olivia Gibson, 406th Air Expeditionary Wing

U.S. Air Force 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron collaborated with other U.S. forces, Djiboutian military forces and additional partners during Exercise Bull Shark 24-2 on May 5-6, 2024, on and off the coast of Djibouti.

During the semi-annual exercise, which focuses on strengthening partnerships and reinforcing crisis response capabilities in a combined joint environment, the coalition of forces conducted personnel recovery crisis response interoperability training to include water hoist considerations, swift water rescue techniques, dive searches, rescue swimming techniques and drowning resuscitation and allowed for the Djiboutian Coast Guard to conduct their own hoist into an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for the first time.

“Our interaction at Bull Shark has a positive effect with our international partners because they are able to see what we are capable of doing and vice versa”, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ryan Gilbert, 82nd ERQS director of operations. “There are always better or different ways of doing rescue, so working with our international partners gave us all the opportunity to see and learn from each other to make us more effective.”

The exercise established effective communication channels between key entities, executing water and land rescue operations for aircrew and facilitating knowledge exchanges with partners to enhance interoperability.

“Being able to work with the Djiboutian Coast Guard search and rescue (SAR) team instilled a huge amount of trust in our team in the capabilities that they have,” said Gilbert. “In the end we both are in the search and rescue world because we truly care for people and want to help people in need.”

Training opportunities like Exercise Bull Shark play a key role in furthering the U.S. Air Forces Africa enduring priority of strengthening ties with our allies and partners, which is a critical aspect of ensuring the success of our shared objectives.

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