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Alaska Air National Guard Airmen rescue pilot near Lime Village

A U.S Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to the 210th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, conducts aerial refueling from a U.S. Air Force HC-130J Combat King II assigned to the 211th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, over Alaska, Jan. 21, 2021, during Operation Noble Defender. Operation Noble Defender is a North American Air Defense Command air-defense operation that allows dynamic training for operational readiness in an Arctic environment.

A U.S Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to the 210th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, conducts aerial refueling from a U.S. Air Force HC-130J Combat King II assigned to the 211th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, over Alaska, Jan. 21, 2021, during Operation Noble Defender. Operation Noble Defender is a North American Air Defense Command air-defense operation that allows dynamic training for operational readiness in an Arctic environment.

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Alaska Air National Guard members of the 176th Wing rescued the pilot of a crashed Cessna 170 April 7 near Lime Village about 185 miles west of Anchorage.

Alaska Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Evan Budd, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center superintendent, said the pilot called the Stoney River Lodge, which relayed the Cessna’s position to the AKRCC.

The AKRCC requested assistance from the 176th Wing, which dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter and a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II, with 212th Rescue Squadron pararescue teams on each aircraft.

The HC-130 refueled the HH-60 and was the first aircraft over the crash site, providing precise coordinates to the helicopter crew.

The Pave Hawk crew landed near the crash site and the pararescuemen medically assessed and evacuated the pilot.

The pilot was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Budd emphasized the importance of having a reliable means of communication when venturing into the Alaska wilderness.

“Having a communications device was absolutely critical to a good outcome for the pilot,” he said. “Getting the call early with crucial information made it so we could get on scene quickly.”

For this rescue, 210th RQS, 211th RQS, 212th RQS and AKRCC were awarded one save.

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