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Alaska Air Guardsmen rescue man near Jensen Mine


An Alaska Air National Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron flies on a training flight in Southcentral Alaska. The hoist capabilities of the Pave Hawk helicopters provide the rescue assets with the ability to conduct rescue missions in rugged terrain.

U.S. Air National Guard file photo by Master Sgt. Sean Mitchell

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued a 54-year old man near Jensen Mine, 30 miles south of Delta Junction, this morning around 3:00 a.m.

The man suffered injuries from a four-wheeler accident that occurred after he experienced symptoms of a stroke. He is part of a work crew in the area, but was alone at the time of the incident. His supervisor found him and called the Alaska State Troopers.

Due to the nature of the man’s injuries, a night-capable helicopter was required to transport him to a medical facility. Civilian and Alaska State Troopers helicopters were unable to conduct the mission due to the remote location and night-vision goggle requirement.

AST contacted the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, RCC requested support from the Alaska Air Guard's rescue squadrons, and they accepted the mission at 12:30 a.m. The 210th Rescue Squadron launched an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and the 211th Rescue Squadron launched an HC-130 King aircraft, each with a team of Guardian Angel pararescuemen from the 212th Rescue Squadron on board.

The crews picked up the injured individual and transported him to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he was released at about 5 a.m.

“The helicopter was able to land and the PJs transported the injured individual to the helo on a stokes litter,” said Maj. Jeffrey Meinel, the on-duty search and rescue director of operations.

“They administered medical care en route to keep the man stable until they were able to deliver him to the hospital in Fairbanks,” said Meinel.

Meinel said that it’s important to have a trip plan, and to ensure someone knows where you are going and when you are expected to arrive there or return.

“Have a cell phone if there’s coverage, or a satellite phone or personal locator beacon,” he said.

For this mission, the 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were awarded with one save.

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