The Expert Ranger Association is an organization of current and former members of the Pennsylvania Hawk Mountain Ranger Search and Rescue Program who have achieved the Ranger Rating of Expert Ranger and/or Master Medic.
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Expert Ranger Association Mission
Our Mission is to promote the ideals of Search and Rescue as are embodied in our motto "..so.that others may live", to promote the training activities of the Ranger program, and facilitate advanced continuing education for Expert Rangers and Master Medics
In response to the need for ground support for air search missions, the concept of the Ranger Team was born under the leadership of Col. Phillip Neuweiler, PAWG Commander from the late 1940’s to 1970. In 1953 USAF Pararescue and survival instructors trained PAWG SAR teams at Westover AFB, Massachusetts. Due to the intensity displayed by the students, the instructors called them Rangers. In 1956 the school was moved to Col. Neuweiler’s property at Hawk Mountain, and was staffed by USAF and CAP members. In the early 1960’s Ranger Staff Cadet training was implemented, and the Hawk Mountain Ranger school gained national prominence.
In the 1960’s five different Ranger Proficiency grades were established to recognize skill and experience, devised in a similar way to awards for the Boy Scouts of America. In that time, several Ranger Teams had individuals that parachuted into aircraft crash areas. There was an Airborne Ranger shoulder insignia worn in place of the PAWG shoulder insignia.
In the early 80’s, the Airborne Ranger shoulder insignia was replaced with a Search and Rescue insignia. Search effectiveness was compromised by CAP adoption of the BDU. The Orange hat, and colorful Ranger insignia became even more practical. Brig. Gen. Richard Anderson, CAP National Commander, visited the Hawk Mtn. Ranger School in July 1996 and recognized its lasting contributions.
Today, as stated in the National SAR Supplement to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual, “resources that may be available to assist include Air Force pararescue personnel, and specialized teams such as Army, Navy, and Air Force explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) teams, Navy sea-air-land (SEAL) teams, or CAP Ranger teams.”
The Hawk Mountain Ranger School and the Pennsylvania Wing Ranger Program has been the model for many of the search and rescue programs throughout the country. It continues to be the single longest running school of search and rescue.
Hawk Mountain Training Information: refer to the Pennsylvania Wing web presence at http://pawg.cap.gov/hawk/
Expert Rangers, Master Medics, and other associates may obtain access to the members only portion of our web site by submitting a feedback form with the requested information.
Until a more formal method is available, please contact the web master for information.
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