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NEWS | Jan. 18, 2024

Alaska Air National Guard Rescues Injured Snowmachiner

By David Bedard, 176th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guard Airmen of the 176th Wing rescued an injured snowmachine rider Jan. 15 about 20 miles northeast of Valdez.

The snowmachiner activated an SOS signal on his two-way satellite communication device, prompting the Alaska State Troopers to request assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The RCC asked for help from the 176th Wing search and rescue duty officer, who dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk and a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II, both with 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angel pararescuemen (PJs) onboard.

The HC-130 refueled the HH-60 in the air during the sortie to give the helicopter the range to complete the mission.

The helicopter crew used the SATCOM device coordinates to find the snowmachiner and landed. The PJs loaded him into the helicopter for medical assessment and take-off.

The HH-60 flew the snowmachiner to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Landon Bryan, AKRCC senior controller, commended the snowmachiner for carrying and properly using the emergency SATCOM device.

“Two-way satellite communication was instrumental in rapidly responding and finding the snowmachiner in what could have been a dangerous outcome,” Bryan said.

For the mission, 210th RQS, 211th RQS, 212th RQS and the AKRCC received credit for one save.



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