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Search and Rescue Team Trains Ahead of Afghanistan Deployment | News

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Search and Rescue Team Trains Ahead of Afghanistan Deployment
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NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- An Air Force search and rescue squad at Nellis prepares to go to Afghanistan in the next few weeks. The two dozen men of the 66th Rescue Squad are cramming in some last-minute training before they go abroad.

They've been to Iraq many times, now they're training to save lives in a land that's both dangerous and steep.

Search and rescue crews are required to get from the flight deck to takeoff in 15 minutes. These crews train to do that in five minutes.

SLIDESHOW: Search and Rescue Teams Train at Nellis

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Dorl leads this squad of two dozen men.

"The Guardian Angels, the PJ's with all the equipment you see on there ramp here, is basically designed to save someone's life," he said. "You see a 50 caliber weapon? We'll use that to basically fight our way in and fight our way out with the objective of getting to that survivor."

The squad leaves Nellis in the next few weeks for a five month mission in southern Afghanistan.

"It seems to be where the fight is. There's a lot more troops in there. There's a lot more enemy. The mission has changed as well," said Dorl.

Recognizing how dangerous this mission is, Laura Lerdall works with Las Vegas-based charity That Others May Live Foundation, raising scholarship money for children of airmen killed in action.

"I just can't imagine going through life losing a parent in the manner in which some of these people have perished," she said.

The rescue squad trains at hovering close to the ground. They know they won't have much of a margin of error in the terrain they'll be facing in Afghanistan.

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