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NEWS | Aug. 8, 2022

Arctic Guardians rescue 2 plane crash victims at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

By David Bedard , 176th Wing Public Affairs

Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing rescued two plane crash victims on Aug. 7 at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve about 300 miles west of Anchorage, near the park’s border with Canada.

The National Park Service requested assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center after receipt of the Cessna 172’s 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter signal. Additionally, the survivors used their inReach satellite communication device to communicate with NPS personnel.

At the request of the AKRCC, 176th Wing launched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk and a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II, both with 212th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen onboard.

The HH-60 located the wreckage, landed, and the pararescuemen extracted the uninjured occupants from the crash site. The crew transported the survivors to the Palmer Airport and released them to Alaska State Troopers to closeout the rescue.

Alaska Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jacob Inman, AKRCC controller, said the party’s combination of an updated 406 ELT and a satellite communication device aided an optimal outcome.

“That definitely contributed to getting search and rescue forces out early,” he said. “Being able to correlate the 406 with the inReach was very helpful.”

For these missions, 210th RQS, 211th RQS, 212th RQS and the AKRCC were credited with two saves.

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