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The Berlin Airlift which is the largest rescue effort performed by the U.S. Air Force. Combat Search & Rescue

Personnel recovery has become an increasingly important mission area receiving added emphasis among OSD policy makers and throughout DoD. It is significant that recent world events requiring military planning options also involved the deployment of combat search and rescue forces. In each instance, recovery assets were among the first to arrive in theater so they would be ready to support combat operations. Additionally, soon after planning began during recent crises, the White House staff requested the Joint Staff provide their concept of personnel recovery for the contingency for review. Presidential interest was high concerning the safety of US military forces and our ability to recover them if necessary.

The USAF has been designated by DOD as the lead service for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR). To meet the requirements of a lead service, the Air Force has equipped and trained specialized rescue forces to conduct CSAR.
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 3904th SAC Survival Publication
 The Impossible Ditching
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