Defense

April 10, 2013

ANG airmen rescue researcher from glacier

Maj. Guy Hayes
Alaska National Guard

CAMP DENALI, Alaska – Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued a snowmobiler who fell 80 feet into a glacier crevasse April 4.

According to the Associated Press, Tom Douglas, 41, of Fairbanks, landed unhurt on his feet on a ledge at Jarvis Glacier near Delta Junction.

Alaska State Troopers notified the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at 6:15 p.m. that a researcher conducting ice and snow tests needed assistance after he and the snowmobile he was riding fell into a crevasse.

“Because of the nature of the mission and need for a specially equipped glacier rescue team and possible hoist requirement, the Alaska Air National Guard was requested to support the rescue,” said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Carte, superintendent, 11th Air Force RCC. “They accepted the mission at 6:35 p.m. and were airborne at 7:22 p.m. enroute to the scene.”

Using an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and HC-130 “King” aircraft, Alaska Air National Guardsmen with the 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson flew to the scene 33 miles south-southeast of Delta Junction.

The HC-130 was first on the scene at 8:30 p.m. and the HH-60 arrived 20 minutes later with Guardian Angels onboard both aircraft.

“The HH-60 set down gently on the surface of the glacier at 8:50 p.m., while the Guardian Angel team assessed the safety of the area,” Carte said. “The team leader stepped out onto one of the skis of the helicopter and probed the snow to check the stability and once he determined it was safe, the Guardian Angels departed the helicopter, roped up together for glacier operations.”

Traversing 100 meters across the glacier in two-man rope teams, four Guardian Angels moved slowly across the potentially unstable surface to the three-foot wide crevasse where the snowmobiler had fallen into hours earlier.

“The survivor was discovered about 80 feet down into the crevasse,” said Maj. Joe Conroy, commander of the 212th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard. “There was some concern about him getting past the snow machine, which was on some kind of ledge, so we lowered a harness and climbing tools down to him so he could move himself up safely past the snow machine before Guardian Angels helped him the rest of the way.”

At 10:20 p.m. the Guardian Angels secured Douglas and safely airlifted him to Donnelly Airfield where he was dropped off with Alaska State Troopers with no injuries at 11 p.m.

Douglas said he blamed himself for the mishap, saying in the Associated Press article that he has spent a lot of time on the glacier. Venturing into an area he didn’t know was safe was a mistake, he told the AP.

“Alaska Guardian Angel teams are specifically trained in glacier operations and pararescuemen from around the country and world come here to hone their skills,” Carte said. “Our Alaska Guardsmen are skilled instructors at glacier operations and are very well equipped to handle situations like these, which makes our team one of the most highly skilled glacier rescue teams in the world for pararescue.”

The Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were awarded one save for this mission. AFNS




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>