176th Wing members return home from Gulf Coast

  • Published
  • By Office of the Governor
  • State of Alaska
Twenty-six members of the Alaska Air National Guard returned home today after deploying in support of hurricanes Gustav, Hannah and Ike in the Gulf Coast region.

Responding to a request from the states of Louisiana and Texas, the Alaska Air National Guard's 176th Wing deployed two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and airmen on Sept. 1 to support search-and-rescue efforts.

"This mission was a true testament to the training and capabilities of our Alaska Air National Guardsmen," Governor Palin said. "I was pleased to be able to direct our Alaska National Guardsmen to deploy to the Gulf Coast region and support the citizens of those states in a critical time of need."

The Alaska Air National Guard deployed under the auspices of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a program that allows guard units to mobilize upon request to render assistance to other states.

"Our Alaska Air National Guardsmen were the perfect fit for the mission," said Lieutenant General (Alaska) Craig E. Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard. "We perform these missions everyday here in Alaska and that's why the governors of Louisiana and Texas requested support from Governor Sarah Palin. When you want the best, you ask for the best, and the Alaska Air National Guard is world-renowned for having the experience and professionalism to perform in the harshest conditions."

Alaska is one of several state Guard organizations that rendered assistance to the Gustav, Hannah and Ike impact zone.

Members of the 176th Wing flew 22 missions and were awarded 16 saves during their 16-day deployment to the Gulf Coast region.