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 | May 4, 2022

AK army aviation unit earns coveted Governor’s trophy for first time

By Staff Sgt. Katie Mazos-Vega Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

The Alaska Army National Guard’s Golf Company, Detachment 2, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion received the Alaska Governor’s Trophy and the Alaska Governor’s Distinguished Unit Citation in a ceremony held at Bryant Army Airfield, Alaska, April 29, 2022.
This is a historic achievement for the aviation unit and the Alaska Army National Guard as a whole. Since the award’s inception in 1970, the Alaska Air National Guard has taken home the Governor’s trophy every year, which makes G CO, 2-211th GSAB the first Army Guard unit to win it.
Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, Alaska National Guard adjutant general, presented the awards on behalf of Governor Michael Dunleavy.
“The number one thing I hear when visiting western Alaska is ‘When is the Guard going to come?’ You bring a sense of calm. People respect you and want to see you,” said Saxe.  “What you have done is truly impressive, and you are more than deserving of these awards.”
Throughout 2021, the medical evacuation unit maintained a busy schedule. The unit rescued 15 Alaskans in life or death situations around the state, which led to recognition at the national level with a feature in Vertical magazine, a publication popular within the aviation industry.
Their hard work also led to earning the Jolly Green Rescue of the Year award last November and the National Dustoff Association’s Rescue of the Year Award.
In addition to rescue missions, G CO, 2-211th GSAB partnered with more than 400 Soldiers from the Indian Armed Forces to support the Yudh Abhyas Indo-U.S. bilateral training exercise. During the exercise, they taught Indian Army Soldiers hoist techniques, prolonged critical care, and immediate triage care.
Golf Company’s primary missions are to provide aerial medical evacuation, combat casualty care and aero-medical support at the state and federal levels.
The recognition generates many positive emotions for the MEDEVAC unit. Sgt. 1st Class Damion Minchaca, readiness non-commissioned officer, G CO, 2-211th GSAB has been with the unit since its activation in Sept. 2017 and has seen its growth take place over time.
“The greatest part about receiving these awards is it’s about the team,” said Minchaca. “It really speaks to what the unit is. We are a cohesive team that comes together and completes the mission, no matter what happens. If we keep the teamwork and the cohesion, there’s nothing our unit can’t accomplish.”

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

Alaska Army National Guard ‘First Scouts’ awarded state’s highest heroism medal for 1955 rescue
March 29, 2023
Alaska Heroism Medals sit ready March 28, 2023, for the ceremony at the John Apangalook Memorial High School gymnasium honoring 16 Alaska Army National Guard First Scouts for their heroism during a 1955 rescue mission after two Russian MiG-15s shot down a U.S. Navy P2V-5 Neptune plane flying a routine maritime patrol over the Bering Sea with 11 sailors on board.

Bethel’s Cama-i weekend a flurry of activity for Alaska National Guard
March 27, 2023
Bethel’s Cama-i weekend a flurry of activity for Alaska National Guard

Alaska Guard, Reserve interoperability aid arctic mobilization proficiency
March 24, 2023
Alaska Guard, Reserve interoperability aid arctic mobilization proficiency