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NEWS | July 15, 2021

Alaska National Guard Airmen rescue injured mountain biker

By David Bedard, 176th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing rescued an injured mountain biker near Girdwood July 14.

The biker, riding an electric bike, was reported to the Alaska State Troopers as lost in the Upper Winner Creek Trail area.

Alaska Air National Guard Master Sgt. David Alborn, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center senior controller, said troopers requested assistance from the AKRCC. The 176th Wing dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter and a 212th Rescue Squadron pararescue team (PJs).

A ground search and rescue team with the Girdwood Fire Department located the biker before the Pave Hawk arrived, but could not safely transport him.

Due to vegetation and terrain, the Pave Hawk crew hoisted down two PJs to hoist the biker to the helicopter. The biker was flown to the Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and released to medical staff.

Alborn said planning is key to safety when venturing into the Alaska wilderness.

"It's important to be familiar with the area and the trails and to properly plan your route," he said. "Even for a short trip, be prepared to spend an extended time or even the night if necessary."

For this rescue, 210th RQS, 212th RQS, the AKRCC and the Girdwood Fire Department were awarded one save.