Military News

Elite Air Force rescuer died at Boise’s Black Cliffs during mountain rescue training

A 33-year-old Air Force special tactics pararescueman died Tuesday when he sustained injuries in a fall while performing mountain rescue techniques in Boise.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Peter Kraines was with the 24th Special Operations Wing. The incident is under investigation, according to the Air Force.

Kraines, of North Carolina, was pronounced dead at around 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday after falling an estimated 40 feet at the Black Cliffs climbing area between Boise and Lucky Peak, according to information posted by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

An initial story about the accident and Kraines’ death at Black Cliffs was reported by the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday, Oct. 8. At that time, the connection to the Air Force training was unknown. An Air Force press release on Thursday, Oct. 10, clarified the matter.

Kraines enlisted in the Air Force in March 2011. He immediately entered the two-year pararescue training program after he completed his training and he was assigned to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, according to a news release from the Air Force.

In March 2017, Kraines joined the ranks within Special Tactics and was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Kraines was a military static-line jumper, free-fall jumper, an Air Force combat scuba diver and was certified as an emergency medical technician. As a Special Tactics pararescueman, Kraines was specially trained and equipped for immediate deployment into combat operations to conduct search-and-rescue and personnel recovery operations.

“This is a tragic loss to the Special Tactics community,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Allen, commander of the 24th SOW in a news release. “We are grateful for the support from our community and our (Air Force Special Operations Command) teammates. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates at this time.”

Kraines’ awards and decorations include an Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, Small Arms Expert Ribbon, Air Force BMT Honor Graduate Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon and NATO Medal.

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Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.
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