Alaska Air National Guard help 3 Alaskans during 2 missions

  • Published
  • By David Bedard
  • Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at JBER facilitated two personnel recovery missions at remote locations across Alaska in a 24-hour period April 4 and 5.

The first mission opened in response to an April 4 request from the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome to medically evacuate a mother and premature baby from Koyuk, about 130 miles east of Nome on Norton Bay, to a higher level of medical care.

Civilian air ambulances were unable to carry out the medevac due to foul weather.

The AKRCC requested assistance from the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing, and the wing search and rescue duty officer dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter and a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II CSAR fixed-wing aircraft, both with 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angel personnel recovery Airmen on board.

The HC-130 extended the HH-60’s range by air-to-air refuel en route to Koyuk. The HH-60 landed at the Koyuk’s airfield where the team was met by a van that moved the Guardian Angels to the mother and child’s location. After assessing both patients and bringing them to the helicopter, the Pave Hawk crew transported them to Unalakleet about 75 miles south of Koyuk where both were transloaded to the HC-130 for transport to JBER, and a ground ambulance transported the patients to Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Another mission opened April 5 in response to a request for assistance from the Alaska State Troopers to rescue a snowmachine rider suffering from a broken leg about 30 miles north of Talkeetna.

Civilian air ambulances were unable to support due to poor weather.

After AKRCC notified 176th Wing of the request, the SARDO dispatched an HH-60 with GAs onboard.

The Pave Hawk crew located the snowmachiner, and the helicopter’s special missions aviator inserted the Guardian Angels by hoist who then assessed him and loaded him into the helicopter for transport to JBER where he was transloaded to a ground ambulance for transport to Providence.

Alaska Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Anthony Stratton, 176th Wing commander, commended the Rescue Triad of the 210th, 211th, and 212th Rescue Squadrons for their actions during the missions.

“Once again, the Rescue Triad has demonstrated their boundless dedication to our fellow Alaskans moving long distances and through extreme weather to get to those who need help,” Stratton said. “Guardian Angels, HH-60 and HC-130 crew members, RCC mission controllers, maintainers and other 176th Wing Airmen stand alert 24/7/365 to answer the call when we’re needed most.”


For the two missions, 210th RQS, 212th RQS and the AKRCC received credit for three saves, and 211th RQS received credit for two saves.