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Arctic Gold 19-4 at Eielson hosts rescue Guardsmen

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

A 212th Rescue Squadron (RQS) Airman, out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, looks out from a 210th RQS HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter March 6, 2019, during Arctic Gold (AG) 19-4 near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. AG 19-4 simulated a downed aircraft in the Alaska wilderness. The purpose of the exercise was to test emergency services ability to effectively and efficiently respond to a crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

Three 212th Rescue Squadron Airmen, out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, position a 354th Security Force Squadron (SFS) Airman onto a litter March 6, 2019, during Arctic Gold 19-4 near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During the exercise, the SFS Airman played the role of someone who egressed from an aircraft during an accident. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

A 354th Security Forces Squadron Airman, lies in a life raft awaiting rescue March 6, 2019, during Arctic Gold 19-4 near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The 210th RQS is part of the Alaska Air National Guard and facilitates rescue missions throughout the state. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

Two 212th Rescue Squadron (RQS) Airman, out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, move a litter March 6, 2019, during Arctic Gold 19-4 near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The 212th RQS is part of the Alaska Air National Guard and facilitates rescue missions throughout the state. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

A 212th Rescue Squadron (RQS) Airman, out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, a helicopter hoist to a litter March 6, 2019, during Arctic Gold 19-4 near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The 212th RQS is part of the Alaska Air National Guard and facilitates rescue missions throughout the state. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

A 210th Rescue Squadron (RQS) HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter, out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, lifts a 212th RQS Airman and a simulated aircrew member March 6, 2019, during Arctic Gold (AG) 19-4 near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. AG 19-4 simulated a downed aircraft in the Alaska wilderness. The purpose of the exercise was to test emergency services ability to effectively and efficiently respond to a crisis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

354th Force Support Squadron (FSS) Airmen conduct a search and recovery March 7, 2019, during Arctic Gold 19-4 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark human remains or debris. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

A 354th Force Support Squadron (FSS) Airman raises her hand to signal a find March 7, 2019, during Arctic Gold 19-4 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

During aircraft accidents, the FSS is responsible for searching the area to find and mark any human remains or aircraft debris.

A 354th Security Forces Squadron Airman patrols the perimeter of a simulated crash site March 7, 2019, during Arctic Gold (AG) 19-4 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. AG 19-4 tested Eielson’s ability to respond to aircraft incidents during extreme cold temperatures in remote locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eric M. Fisher)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Eielson held a major accident response exercise to better prepare the base for possible aircraft incidents March 6-7, 2019.

“This exercise scenario involved a mid-air collision resulting in a downed aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Bradley Moore, 354th Fighter Wing inspector general and exercise superintendent. “It was designed to test the wing’s ability to respond to aircraft mishaps in austere locations and conduct personnel rescues during cold-weather situations.”

Arctic Gold (AG) 19-4 highlighted improvements that can be made to better respond to incidents and ensure all first responders are able to communicate effectively during a crisis situation.

“The results of the exercise allow us to look at our mishap response plan and validate the procedures within it,” said Moore. “If there are limiting factors, we can adjust our plans to fill any gaps which will enable us to better respond in the future.”

One exercise scenario required responders from the 210th Rescue Squadron and 212th Rescue Squadron out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to find and identify a surviving aircrew member before providing emergency medical treatment and transporting him back to safety.

Once the crash site was secured by 354th Security Forces Squadron Airmen and cleared by 354th Medical Group bio-environmental engineers, other emergency response agencies began the process of searching the crash site and recovering simulated human remains and aircraft debris.

“Most practices for search and recovery teams aren’t as realistic as this scenario,” said Maj. Benjamin Quigley, 354th Force Support Squadron mortuary affairs officer. “We had to come out and dig through waist-deep snow which highlights how difficult search and recovery can be. It helped give a better idea of how we need to operate in a real-world event.”

AG 19-4 provided an ideal training ground for responders and support agencies to test and improve their skills so they will be prepared in the event of a real-world accident. 

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