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May 2023

Liz Russell

U.S. Department of Defense Personnel Recovery 

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Liz Russell is a distinguished veteran with over 40 years of combined U.S. military and federal civilian service.

She gave an enlightening presentation that highlighted her invaluable contributions and offered her unique insights and perspectives into the Department of Defense's personnel recovery operations. 

She discussed how the U.S. government prepares its warfighters and allied forces for challenging missions and about the protocols in place should the worst-case scenario occur, ensuring the safe return of personnel from isolating events, including captivity.


Liz Russell's journey began with an active and adventurous childhood. Enlisting in the Air Force in 1977, Liz underwent extensive training that eventually allowed her to train military personnel facing high-risk situations. 

She became one of the first two women to successfully complete and teach Combat Survival Training. 

After years of field and resistance training at Fairchild AFB in Washington, she earned an officer's commission in 1989. In 1997, Liz retired from the Air Force to develop specialized training for the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency.

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