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.


 
 

 

Acquisition community works to improve tradecraft

Everything the defense acquisition community is doing now is being done to improve its tradecraft, Katrina G. McFarland, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said April 16. McFarland made the comments at the National Defense Industrial Associations National Logistics Forum. Improving tradecraft is something DOD would want to do in the best of times,...
 
 
B1a

B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner An Edwards B-1B Lancer takes off on April 1, 2014, to begin testing its new Sustainment Block 16A software upgrades. The SB 16A software will work in conjunction with the long-range bomberĂ­...
 
 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Smarter spending for Air Force acquisitions

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello briefs attendees April 16, 2014, on how today’s budget environment is driving change for both government and industry as part of the Air Force Associati...
 
 
DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

U.S., Poland defense leaders find new areas for cooperation

DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a press briefing with Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak at the Pentagon, April 17, 2014. Amid deep concerns about...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge

Air Force researchers test Google Glass for battlefield use

Air Force photograph by Richard Eldridge Dr. Gregory Burnett, middle, and Andres Calvo, right, analyze a graphic representation of movement trackers, as 2nd Lt. Krystin Shanklin tests Google Glass at Wright-Patterson Air Force ...
 




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>