Alaska Air National Guard rescues injured snowmachiner near Livengood

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

Alaska Air National Guardsmen of 176th Wing rescued an injured snowmachiner Nov. 6 near Livengood about 40 miles north of Fairbanks.

The uninjured member of the two-member snowmachine party used a satellite phone to call the Alaska State Troopers. Due to severe weather, the Troopers requested assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at JBER.

The AKRCC then requested assistance from 176th Wing, which dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron Detachment 1 HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter with 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angel pararescuemen (PJs) onboard. Detachment 1 stands alert at Eielson Air Force Base while the remainder of the 176th Wing rescue enterprise stands alert at JBER.

The crew of the HH-60 flew to the location of the injured snowmachiner, and the special missions aviator inserted the PJs via hoist. The PJs prepared the injured snowmachiner to be hoisted into the helicopter for evacuation to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Alaska Air National Guard Master Sgt. Katelyn Biermann, AKRCC senior mission controller, credited the party for carrying a satellite communication device.

“Because the injured party was carrying a cell phone, our office was able to verify their exact location and injuries, so we could pass it to the aircrew,” Biermann said. “Being prepared with a two-way communication device is essential for back-country adventures in Alaska.”

For the mission, 210th RQS, 212th RQS and the AKRCC received credit for one save.