Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue hunter
By David Bedard, 176th Wing
/ Published September 14, 2020
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Alaska Air National Guard members of the 176th Wing rescued a hunter injured in an ATV accident Sept. 11 near Farewell Airport northwest of Anchorage.
Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Kevin Kelly, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center deputy director, said the hunter used a satellite communication device to contact the Alaska State Troopers, who then contacted the AKRCC.
The AKRCC notified the 176th Wing, which dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter carrying 212th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen (PJs). Additionally, a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II was launched to provide air-to-air refueling if needed.
Aircrew of 210th RQS and 211th RQS are combat search and rescue Airmen capable in civil search and rescue missions in Alaska’s challenging weather and terrain. PJs of 212th RQS are trained search and rescue experts and paramedics.
The HH-60 aircrew navigated to the hunter’s location, landed, and disembarked the PJs who medically assessed the hunter and loaded him into the helicopter. The patient and his hunting partner were transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where they were released to medical personnel.
Kelly underscored the importance of having a plan and a satellite communication device while hunting in a remote area.
“Whether it’s cold temperatures that creep up on you or the rugged terrain that gets you into an accident, it always pays to have a device that can reach out and get you the help you need,” he said.
For this rescue, 210th RQS, 211th RQS, 212th RQS and AKRCC were awarded two saves.