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Alaska Air Guard rescues distressed hiker at Mount Williwaw

By Capt. David Bedard | 134th Public Affairs Detachment | July 28, 2020

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — The Alaska Air National Guard rescued a distressed hiker July 26 at Mount Williwaw east of Anchorage.

Alaska National Guard Master Sgt. Andre Marron, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center controller, said the stranded hiker could not safely ascend or descend and used his mobile phone to contact authorities who contacted the AKRCC. The Alaska State Troopers asked for assistance with a hoist-capable helicopter.

The AK RCC coordinated the departure of two pararescuemen (PJs) of the 212th Rescue Squadron aboard an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter of the 210th Rescue Squadron. The HH-60 crew quickly located the hiker at 5,000 feet above sea level and hoisted the PJ team 30 feet to package the distressed hiker and extract him from the mountain.

The hiker was transported to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage and released to the Alaska State Troopers there.

“The hiker knew exactly who to contact to get help,” said Alaska Air National Guard Capt. Daniel Warren, combat rescue officer and AKRCC senior controller. “This rescue effort demonstrates the continuing success of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center’s community outreach and the synergistic relationship between the Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Air National Guard.”

The AK RCC, 210th RQS and 212th RQS were each awarded one save for this mission.