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Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Col. Glenn Ott (right), 210th Rescue Squadron commander, briefs Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 26 on the Operational Loss Replacement HH-60G Pave Hawk at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The OLR helicopters are former U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks rebuilt into Pave Hawks. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Col. Glenn Ott (right), 210th Rescue Squadron commander, briefs Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 26 on the Operational Loss Replacement HH-60G Pave Hawk at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The OLR helicopters are former U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks rebuilt into Pave Hawks. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Col. Glenn Ott (right), 210th Rescue Squadron commander, briefs Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 26 on the Operational Loss Replacement HH-60G Pave Hawk at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The OLR helicopters are former U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks rebuilt into Pave Hawks. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Col. Glenn Ott (left), 210th Rescue Squadron commander, briefs Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 26 on the Operational Loss Replacement HH-60G Pave Hawk at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The OLR helicopters are former U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks rebuilt into Pave Hawks. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, walks with Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten, 176th Wing commander, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The director is responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 107,100 Guard members and civilians. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, walks with Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten, 176th Wing commander, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The director is responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 107,100 Guard members and civilians. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Col. Matthew Kirby, 212th Rescue Squadron commander, briefs Arctic Sustainment Package capabilities to Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The Arctic Sustainment Package is a rapidly deployable air-droppable package that can provide shelter, heat, transportation, fuel and food for 28 people for up to six and a half days in extreme Arctic conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice (left), director, Air National Guard, talks to Master Sgt. Sara Jones, 176th Operations Support Squadron, and Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten, 176th Wing commander, about the Arctic Sustainment Package Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The Arctic Sustainment Package is a rapidly deployable air-droppable package that can provide shelter, heat, transportation, fuel and food for 28 people for up to six and a half days in extreme Arctic conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen

Lt. Col. Matthew Kirby, 212th Rescue Squadron commander, briefs pararescue equipment to Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The squadron comprises pararescuemen, combat rescue officers, and survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Lt. Col. Matthew Kirby, 212th Rescue Squadron commander, briefs squadron capabilities to Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The squadron comprises pararescuemen, combat rescue officers, and survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, presents a coin to Capt. Jennifer Pugatch, 176th Medical Group, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Pugatch accepted the coin on behalf of Lt. Col. Andrew Adamich, chief of optometry at the group. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, presents a coin to Capt. Yennisha Sanchez, 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As installation deployment officer, Sanchez expedited multiple domestic operations taskings in less than 24 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, presents a coin to Capt. Yennisha Sanchez, 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As installation deployment officer, Sanchez expedited multiple domestic operations taskings in less than 24 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, presents a coin to Master Sgt. Seth Bowen, 176th Operations Support Squadron first sergeant, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As first sergeant, Bowen guided 140 members make better life choices. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, presents a coin to Senior Master Sgt. Bishop Bailey, 176th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As a weapons section chief, Bailey was called upon for his expertise by Air Combat Command to devise standardized plans for the weapons community. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, presents a coin to Staff Sgt. Benny Orallo, 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Aug. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As a traffic management technician, Orallo achieved a 100-percent mission-impaired capability awaiting parts rate, ensuring maintenance wasn’t limited by supply actions. (U.S. Air Force photo by David Bedard/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Jeremy Groat, (left) 210th Rescue Squadron, prepares to fly an HH-60G Pave Hawk with Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 27 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The director is responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 107,100 Guard members and civilians. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Director, Air National Guard visits 176th Wing Airmen
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A 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk piloted by Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Jeremy Groat makes a stop while transporting Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, Aug. 27 from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to Clear Air Force Station. The director is responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 107,100 Guard members and civilians. (Courtesy photo/Released)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --

Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director, Air National Guard, visited with 176th Wing Guardsmen at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Aug. 26 and 27.

The director is responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 105,500 Guard members and civilians in more than 90 wings and 175 geographically separated units across 213 locations throughout the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

After briefings with 11th Air Force and Alaska National Guard leadership at JBER, Rice dined with Airmen and presented several exemplary Guardsmen with challenge coins. 

He told leaders at the luncheon to focus on their Airmen’s strength and to work through their weaknesses.

“I have a tremendous amount of passion for this business,” the general said. “My heart is in this. I do this because, in my own small way, I have an opportunity to help people get better.”

Rice toured the 176th Air Defense Squadron’s Region Air Operations Center, which is part of the Alaskan NORAD Region. The Guard staffing the RAOC work closely with Regular Air Force Airmen of the Alaskan NORAD Region, the 11th Air Force and a Canadian Forces Air Command detachment to detect and intercept any intrusion into U.S. or Canadian airspace.

Lt. Col. Matthew Kirby, 212th Rescue Squadron commander, led the director through a tour of the squadron.  He described how combat rescue officers and pararescuemen of the squadron have partnered with the 210th and 211th Rescue Squadrons to rescue hundreds of service members during numerous combat deployments, and more than two thousand civilians in Alaska and the Lower 48.

Kirby told Rice about when Airmen of the 176th Wing partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard in 2006 to rescue 23 merchant sailors aboard the stricken Singapore-flagged Cougar Ace cargo vessel. Located 230 miles south of Adak Island on the Aleutian Islands chain, the mammoth effort required the capabilities of 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawks including aerial refueling with 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130 Kings to extend their range

Kirby also showed Rice the wing’s Arctic Sustainment Package staged in warm storage on Elmendorf Airfield.  The ASP is a rapidly deployable air-droppable package that can provide shelter, heat, transportation, fuel and food for 28 people for up to six and a half days in extreme Arctic conditions.  Men and women from the 212th RQS and the 176th Operations Support Squadron keep the ASP on alert year-round for potential remote or Arctic mass-casualty rescue operations.  

Lt. Col. Glenn Ott, 210th RQS commander, gave the general a tour of the second of two Operational Loss Replacement HH-60 recently delivered to the wing. The OLR Pave Hawks are recapitalized low-hour U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks converted for combat search and rescue service.

The OLRs will ensure rescue readiness for the wing, bridging the gap until the HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter is fielded with the squadron in the late 2020s.

Rice had the opportunity to tour the 211th RQS’ recently fielded HC-130J Combat King II, which executed the wing’s first J-model Guardian Angel parachute drop search and rescue of a bear-mauling victim in June.

On the morning of Aug. 27, Rice took helicopter academics with 210th RQS before co-piloting an HH-60 with Maj. Jeremy Groat to Clear Air Force Station. Later, Rice met with Alaska Air National Guardsmen of 168th Wing at Eielson Air Force Base.

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