Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue 2 hikers in distress at Hatcher Pass

  • Published
  • By David Bedard
  • 176th Wing Public Affairs

Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing rescued two hikers in distress Jan. 30 at Hatcher Pass on the Gold Mint Trail.

The mission opened in response to a request for assistance from the Alaska State Troopers to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center. The hikers notified the AST of their distress using a satellite communication device.

At the request of and under the direction of the AKRCC, Alaska Air National Guardsmen of 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons launched on a 210th RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from JBER.

The HH-60 crew located the hikers on uneven terrain, requiring the 212th RQS pararescuemen use the Pave Hawk’s hoist to make contact with the hikers and transport them into the helicopter. The HH-60 transported the uninjured man to Providence Alaska Medical Center where they were released to medical personnel.

Alaska Air National Guard Capt. Brent Kramer, AKRCC senior controller, said quick rescue was expedited by the party’s use of a satellite communication device.

“In the Alaska wilderness, having satellite communication is huge,” he said, explaining the benefit of the hikers’ use of the device. “We knew what we were getting into, and we were able to quickly assign the appropriate asset.”

For this mission, 210th RQS, 212th RQS and the AKRCC were awarded two saves.