An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | April 26, 2022

Alaska Army National Guard annual training enables helicopters to deploy to western Alaska during River Watch

By Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

The Alaska Army National Guard’s Golf Company, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion will conduct its federal, annual training requirements in western Alaska this year from April 30 to May 12. 

The timing coincides with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s River Watch which provides aerial surveillance and real-time updates in order to issue on-scene flood advisories and warnings, assist communities with flooding preparations, and support emergency response operations if flooding occurs. 

On April 11, 2022, the unit prepositioned two Black Hawk helicopters each in Bethel and Nome in preparation. When training kicks off Bethel will have two HH-60M (Medevac) and two UH-60L helicopters. Guardsmen will train with three UH-60L aircraft out of Nome. Both locations will have hoist capable aircraft in order to support a wide range of emergency rescue scenarios. 

Members of the public can expect to see the Army National Guard flying overhead during this time as part of their scheduled training cycle. 

Should there be significant flooding or other emergency in the region during this time, the Army National Guard air crews and helicopters are ready to provide support as requested by the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center. 

“Conducting annual training in western Alaska gives our air crews valuable experience flying across all types of terrain and conditions,” said Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, commissioner for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard.  “Also, our Guardsmen and their aircraft will be strategically located to provide emergency assistance to communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers that experience a flood disaster.”  

In addition to the readily available helicopters, the National Guard is prepared to deploy Guardsmen across the state to support communities as needed.

“With the elevated risk of flooding this spring, the Alaska National Guard is leaning forward in the event of an emergency,” said Saxe. “We are ready if rural communities need help.”

During a domestic emergency or natural disaster, local authorities may request assistance through the State Emergency Operations Center. State emergency managers assist local emergency managers in a coordinated effort to provide the necessary resources. Through this process, the state may request specific support through the Alaska National Guard Joint Operations Center.
Alaska Military Youth Academy Career Work Experience program gives cadets a head start with job training and skills
June 8, 2023
Alaska Military Youth Academy cadet Jackie Tinker uses a hand torch to solder a piece of copper pipe during a Career Work Experience program class at Alaska Works Partnership in Anchorage June 01, 2023.

Adjutant General’s Match brings state’s top marksman to Fort Wainwright
June 8, 2023
Alaska Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Travis Hall, 49th Missile Defense Battalion (GMD), fires a M110 A1 Marksman Rifle as AKARNG Maj. James Goddard, officer in charge of the TAG Match, acts as a range safety at the Fort Wainwright Range Complex June 4, 2023. The TAG Match is an annual marksmanship competition designed to challenge and test basic shooting fundamentals.

USAACE tactics instructors and Alaska Army National Guardsmen look to build bridging solution for Army Aviation initiative
June 6, 2023
Chinook flying near Knik Glacier

Alaska Air Guardsmen assist National Park Service rescue of Denali climber
May 24, 2023
Alaska Air Guardsmen assist National Park Service rescue of Denali climber

Alaska National Guardsmen, State Defense Force deploy to Bethel, Circle to assist with flood recovery
May 23, 2023
Senior Airman Sean Lake, 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, loads gear at Eielson Air Force Base in preparation to help with debris-clearing operations in Circle, Alaska, May 23, 2023. Four Guardsmen and one member of the Alaska State Defense Force will assist with cleanup and flood recovery efforts at the request of the Alaska State Emergency Operations Center. (Alaska Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey)

Alaska's Best Warrior Competition Award Ceremony
May 21, 2023
Command Sgt. Maj. John Phlegar, left, the state command sergeant major of the Alaska Army National Guard, pins the Army Commendation Medal on the 2023 Soldier of the Year, Spc. Adam Macro, a military police Soldier from Alpha Company, 49th Missile Defense Battalion during the Best Warrior Competition awards ceremony held at Camp Carroll, Alaska, May 21, 2023. Throughout the week of May 16, 2023, the Best Warrior Competition tested Soldiers on their physical and mental readiness as well as their knowledge of Army doctrine and common warrior tasks.

Alaska Army National Guard HH-60 hoists injured backcountry skier off Girdwood mountainside
April 20, 2023
On April 19, 2023, an avalanche broke loose at the top of a mountain near Girdwood, Alaska, pulling a backcountry skier 800 to 1000 feet down the face. The red box indicates the injured skier and rescue team. The Alaska Army National Guard’s Golf Company, 2-211th General Aviation Support Battalion received mission request from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center and rescued the skier with a hoist-capable HH-60M Black Hawk helicopter specially designed for medical evacuations.

Bartlett High School JROTC Takes Flight With Alaska Army National Guard
April 14, 2023
Bartlett High School JROTC Takes Flight with Alaska Army National Guard

National Guard, tribal consortium team up in St. Mary’s, Western Alaska
April 6, 2023
Alaska Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Sharon Queenie, a surveillance technician with the 176th Air Defense Squadron, gives a presentation to students from her hometown of St. Mary’s, Alaska, during a recruiting initiative in partnership with the Association of Village Council Presidents at the Andreafski High School, March 31, 2023. The Association of Village Council Presidents recently partnered with the Alaska National Guard to provide recruiting information and resources through their Tribal Job Centers. The initiative kicked off in St. Mary’s with presentations from AVCP and AKNG, where representatives interacted with students, parents, teachers, and community members. AVCP provides community development, education, social services, culturally relevant programs, and advocacy for the people and 56 tribes of Western Alaska.

Alaska Air Guardsmen medevac patient from Little Diomede
April 5, 2023
Alaska Air Guardsmen medevac patient from Little Diomede