Photography: Middle East
One of the main missions of the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing is to retrieve wounded troops and civilians, a job that often takes them into the line of fire to provide lifesaving medical treatment in the critical minutes after people are wounded. The unit is comprised of three types of airmen: “SERE” specialists, survival, evasion, resistance and escape; combat rescue officers, and pararescuemen. The military collectively calls them its "Guardian Angel" weapons system. The system was established after Sept. 11 when the U.S. began fighting major conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.