An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | June 27, 2024

Alaska Air Guard Rescue Triad Demonstrates Capabilities

By Alejandro Pena, Alaska National Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guardsmen from the 176th Wing’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons conducted a rescue capabilities exercise June 25.

The training at Malemute Drop Zone, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, showcased search and rescue, high-altitude parachute drops, in-flight refueling, emergency medical response, personnel recovery and recovery hoist.

Participants included HH-60G Pave Hawk aircrew of the 210th RQS, HC-130J Combat King II aircrew of the 211th RQS, and pararescuemen (PJs), and combat rescue officers (CROs) of the 212th RQS.

The three squadrons compose the 176th Wing’s Rescue Triad and are among the busiest search and rescue units in the world.

CROs, PJs, and search, evasion, resistance, and escape specialists — known collectively as Guardian Angels — are experts in SAR/PR operations and trained to infiltrate behind enemy lines to extract isolated U.S. and allied personnel.

The Pave Hawk aircrew is trained to use the helicopter’s sensor suite to find isolated personnel. They can insert Guardian Angels by landing or using the HH-60’s rescue hoist.

The HH-60 is the 176th Wing’s primary extraction platform since the all-weather helicopter can land in various remote locations, and the crew can employ the rescue hoist when landing is impossible. To extend the range of the Pave Hawk, the HC-130 deploys refueling drogues from pods underneath the wings to refuel the helicopter in flight.

The Combat King aircrew uses the propeller-driven aircraft’s advanced avionics to find people at higher altitudes and greater speeds than the HH-60. It can insert Guardian Angels by low- or high-altitude parachute drops.

While the Rescue Triad’s military mission supports the 11th Air Force Alaska NORAD Region, it also provides Alaska with specialized civil SAR capabilities. Alaska is the largest U.S. state by area, with more total area than the next three largest states — Texas, California and Montana — combined. In addition, Alaska has nearly 34,000 miles of shoreline — more than all the lower 48 U.S. combined. Continuous training in Alaska’s vast and austere locations hones the Rescue Triad’s specialized skill set.



Related Articles
U.S. Airmen with the 141st Air Control Squadron, Puerto Rico National Guard, pose for a photo during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 2024 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, April 18 to May 3, 2024. Airmen trained in air operations interoperability among joint partnerships, focusing on suppression of enemy air defenses and offensive and defensive counterair operations.
Puerto Rico Air National Guard Trains at Red Flag-Alaska
By 156th Wing | June 18, 2024
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - U.S. Airmen assigned to the 141st Air Control Squadron, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, participated in the two-week advanced aerial combat Exercise Red Flag-Alaska.Military pilots and crew...

Alaska Army National Guardsmen with the 49th Personnel Detachment, known as the 49th Theater Gateway, gather for a deployment ceremony at Camp Carroll on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, June 1, 2024. The 49th TG will deploy to the Middle East to support Operation Spartan Shield.
Alaska Guard Soldiers Honored Before Middle East Deployment
By Balinda ONeal, | June 5, 2024
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Army National Guardsmen assigned to the 49th Personnel Detachment, known as the 49th Theater Gateway, were honored during a deployment ceremony at the Camp Carroll flagpole on...

Alaska Air National Guard HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter aviators assigned to the 210th Rescue Squadron hoist two 212th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen during hoist training in the Prince William Sound near Whittier, Alaska, May 15, 2024. The 212th, along with the 210th and 211th RQSs, make up the 176th Wing Rescue Triad and are among the busiest combat search and rescue units in the world.
Alaska Air National Guard Rescues Hypothermic Mariner
By David Bedard, | June 4, 2024
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guard rescue personnel of the 176th Wing hoisted a hypothermic mariner to safety May 30 about 20 miles southwest of Kodiak Island.The boating party was in a vessel...