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NEWS | March 30, 2015

Alaska Air National Guard rescue squadrons supported Saudi pilot rescue off the coast of Yemen

By Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead, Alaska National Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Airmen from the Alaska Air National Guard's 210th and 211th Rescue Squadrons who are deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, provided key support in the rescue of two Saudi F-15 pilots from the Gulf of Aden Friday.

Approximately 120 Alaska Air National Guard members from the 210th and 211th Rescue Squadrons and several support units are deployed to Camp Lemonnier in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Three 210th HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and two 211th HC-130 “King” aircraft are also assigned to the deployed location.

Their primary mission in-theater is to provide a personnel-recovery force for the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

The primary mission of the HH-60 and HC-130 is to conduct day or night personnel recovery operations in hostile environments to recover isolated personnel during war. The deployed Guardsmen are providing 24/7 alert for medical evacuation and search and rescue missions.

Both aircraft are also tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, and security cooperation/aviation advisory. The HC-130 provides airlift, air-refueling and communication capabilities.

The 211th's deployment began in early December 2014 and the 210th's deployment began in late January this year.