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NEWS | Dec. 8, 2020

Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue snowmachiner

By David Bedard 176th Wing

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Alaska Air National Guard Airmen of the 176th Wing rescued an injured snowmachiner Dec. 6 near Petersville about 95 miles north of Anchorage and just south of Denali National Park.

Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Kevin Kelly, deputy director of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (AKRCC), said the snowmachiner’s party used a satellite phone to contact Alaska State Troopers, who then contacted the AKRCC.

The AKRCC requested assistance from the 176th Wing, which dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopter, a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130 Combat King II SAR aircraft, with both carrying 212th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen (PJs).

The Pave Hawk landed, and the PJs made contact and assessed the snowmachiner before evacuating him to the helicopter.

The snowmachiner was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and released to medical personnel for treatment.

Kelly commended the snowmachine party for carrying a satellite phone and being prepared.

“The snow machiner was ready for a situation where he got injured or his machine broke down,” he said. “Having a means of satellite communication and a plan for the worst while venturing into Alaska backcountry is critical to good outcomes.”

For this rescue, 210th RQS, 211th RQS, 212th RQS and AKRCC were awarded one save.