Alaska Air Guard Rescues Injured Hiker Near Eklutna Lake

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

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing rescued an injured hiker Aug. 31 near Eklutna Lake, about 30 miles northeast of Anchorage.

Alaska State Troopers requested support after the hiker messaged for help using a satellite communication device.

At the request of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the 176th Wing launched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter with 212th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen onboard.

The HH-60 crew located the hiker in a ravine and inserted the pararescuemen, who made contact with him before hoisting him into the Pave Hawk.

The helicopter transported the injured hiker to Providence Alaska Medical Center and released him to medical personnel there.

Alaska Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Hamilton, AKRCC superintendent, said the hiker’s use of a satellite communication device was key to a timely rescue.

“This rescue proved once again the utility of a two-way satellite communication device when going into the Alaska wilderness where there is no standard cell service,” he said.

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