Buckle Up! Airmen Get Down at the 'PJ Rodeo'

Department of Defense | Sep. 14, 2023

By Press Operations

A service member aims a weapon while standing next to a table of guns.
Timed Test An Air Force pararescueman prepares for a timed marksmanship course in Elizabeth, Ind., Sept. 5, 2023, as part of the 2023 PJ Rodeo competition. The biennial event tested the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service. Photo By:Dale Greer, Air National Guard
An airman free-falls upside down with a parachute pack.
Precision Parachute Jump An Air Force pararescueman executes a precision parachute jump from 5,500 feet at Freeman Municipal Airport in Seymour, Ind., Sept. 4, 2023, as part of the PJ Rodeo. The biennial event tested the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service. Photo By:Air Force Master Sgt. Phil Speck
Two airmen walk next to each other on a bridge carrying heavy containers.
Monster Mash Air Force pararescuemen compete in a "Monster Mash," a series of physical and mental challenges, at Waterfront Park in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 7, 2023, as part of the 2023 PJ Rodeo. The biennial event tested the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service. Photo By:Air Force Master Sgt. Phil Speck
An airman scales a building.
On the Move An Air Force pararescueman executes an urban high-angle ropes scenario to reach a simulated injured service member during the 2023 PJ Rodeo competition in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 6, 2023. The biennial event tests the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service. Photo By:Dale Greer, Air National Guard

Air Force pararescuemen, also known as "PJs," recently put their skills to the test during a biennial competition — the PJ Rodeo — in Louisville, Ky.

During the event, airmen demonstrated skills in precision parachuting, marksmanship, technical rescue and tactical medicine. They also competed in a series of physical and mental challenges called a "monster mash."

This year, the contest was hosted by the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Special Tactics Squadron.

An airman hangs upside while climbing across rope.
High Angles An Air Force pararescueman executes an urban high-angle ropes scenario to reach a simulated injured service member, render medical care, and lower him to safety during the PJ Rodeo competition in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 6, 2023. The biennial event tested the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service. Photo By:Air Force Master Sgt. Phil Speck
Air Force pararescuemen compete in a series of physical and mental challenges called a “monster mash” during the 2023 PJ Rodeo at Waterfront Park in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 7, 2023. The biennial event tests the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service.
Air Force pararescuemen compete in a "Monster Mash," a series of physical and mental challenges, at Waterfront Park in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 7, 2023, as part of the 2023 PJ Rodeo. The biennial event tests the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service.
An Air Force pararescueman executes a precision parachute landing at Freeman Municipal Airport in Seymour, Ind., Sep. 4, 2023, as part of the 2023 PJ Rodeo. The biennial event tests the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service.
U.S. Air Force pararescuemen compete in a “Monster Mash,” a series of physical and mental challenges, at Waterfront Park in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 7, 2023, as part of the 2023 PJ Rodeo. The biennial event, which tests the capabilities of pararescue Airmen across the service, was hosted by the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Phil Speck)
Air Force pararescuemen execute an urban high-angle ropes scenario to reach a simulated injured service member during the 2023 PJ Rodeo competition in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 6, 2023. The biennial event tests the capabilities of pararescue airmen across the service.

Pararescuemen are the only Defense Department elite combat force trained and equipped to conduct full spectrum personnel recovery. Their mission is to rescue, recover and return American or allied forces in times of danger or extreme duress.