NEWS | July 23, 2021

Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue injured hunter

By David Bedard, 176th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing rescued an injured hunter on Wood River near Fairbanks July 22.

The hunter suffered multiple injuries in a fall and activated the SOS button on his satellite communication device, which sent a text message to his spouse detailing his situation.

Alaska Air National Guard Master Sgt. Andre Marron, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center controller and 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk special missions aviator, said Alaska State Troopers requested assistance from the AKRCC.

The 176th Wing assigned a 210th RQS HH-60 and a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II, both of which were already airborne conducting training missions with combat rescue officers and enlisted pararescuemen (PJs).

The spouse talked to the AKRCC, relaying coordinates and information critical to expediting the quick rescue.

The HH-60 crew landed near the hunter, and a combat rescue officer and PJ provided immediate medical care before evacuating him on the helicopter.

The Pave Hawk took the hunter to the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was released to medical personnel.

Marron said it was fortunate both aircraft were already operating in the area. He credited the hunter for carrying and quickly using his satellite communication device.

"His decision to reach out via inReach expedited the rescue, ultimately saving the hunter's life," he said.

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