Alaska Air National Guard heads for Texas

Twenty-one members of the Alaska Air National Guard are now engaged in assisting with Hurricane Harvey humanitarian disaster relief operations.

They are part of the Guard’s 176th Wing, which deployed on Aug. 28 in a C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, en route to Fort Hood, Texas.

Two aircrews from the 249th Airlift Squadron and 13 Guardian Angels from the 212th Rescue Squadron, a crew chief and a photographer flew out, stopping at Moffett Federal Airfield, CA to pick up two California Air National Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopters, which can be configured to fit inside the C-17, and seven support personnel to transport to Texas.

The Pave Hawks and Guardian Angels will be tasked with supporting the Texas National Guard and state of Texas in search and rescue operations.

Guardian Angels is a team of combat rescue officers, pararescuemen and survival, evasion, resistance, and escape specialists who are uniquely trained personnel recovery professionals. Their primary mission is combat rescue. Guardian Angel teams from the 212th Rescue Squadron previously assisted with search and rescue in support of relief operations after Hurricane Katrina and the Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan in 2005, and Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2008.

Since 1991, Alaska members of the 176th Wing’s three rescue squadrons have performed over 1,600 saves for people lost or injured.