Alaska Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten, 176th Wing commander, speaks with Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Pleus, Air Combat Command Plans, Programs and Requirements director, during a Feb. 12, 2019, visit of senior ACC officers to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Brock Roden, 212th Rescue Squadron combat rescue officer, speaks with senior officers from Air Combat Command during their Feb. 12, 2019, visit to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
Senior officers from Air Combat Command tour a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk during their Feb. 12, 2019, visit to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
Released: February 14, 2019
By: Sgt. David Bedard
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Alaska Air National Guardsmen briefed Air Combat
Command (ACC) senior officers during a Feb. 12, 2019, tour of 176th Wing rescue units at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
ACC is the primary provider of air combat forces for the Air Force and is located at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
Representing ACC was Air Force Maj. Gen. Kevin Huyck, director of operations; Maj. Gen. Scott Pleus, director of plans, programs and requirements; and Brig. Gen. Aaron Prupas, director of intelligence.
Alaska Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten, 176th Wing commander, said he and his leadership
advocated for ongoing improvements to the wing's HC-130J Combat King II and HH-60G Pave Hawk
â€œWe were happy to host ACC's leadership from A3, A5 and A2 to discuss requirements in the Arctic,â€
Slaten said. â€œSpecifically, we talked about the ongoing challenges with the modernization and
conversion of the HC-130J and the HH-60G.â€
The Combat King II, the Air Forceâ€™s only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform, replaced
older 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130N aircraft in 2017.
The HH-60G originally entered service in the early 1980s and is scheduled to be replaced in the 210th
Rescue Squadron by the HH-60W Pave Hawk II in the coming decades.
Slaten, a Pave Hawk pilot, told the ACC officers it is becoming more difficult to source replacement parts
because the G-model is based on the Army's older UH-60L, which has largely been replaced by the
Army's M-model. Consequently, there are fewer parts in circulation.
The ACC generals also visited the warm storage facility for the wing's Arctic Sustainment Package, which
is a rapidly deployable air-droppable package, including combat rescue officers and pararescuemen, that
can provide shelter, heat, transportation, fuel and food for 28 people for up to six and a half days in
extreme Arctic conditions.
Airmen representing several wing units and career fields designed, resourced and built the ASP. Aircrew
Flight Equipment Airmen said they put in extra time to ensure the ASP is always ready to deploy at short
During the ACC visit to the 212th Rescue Squadron, combat rescue officers and pararescuemen briefed
the generals on the benefits of having health and fitness professionals embedded in the unit as part of
Special Operations Command's Preservation of the Force and Family initiative. Pleus said he agreed the
cost of employing the professionals was negligible when weighed against increased unit readiness and
the cost savings associated with preventing acute injuries and chronic conditions that can lead to
Airmen of 212th Rescue Squadron talked about several search-and-rescue missions they carried out
across Alaska, which demonstrated the unique challenges of operating across the vast distances of the
state while combatting inclement weather.
Slaten highlighted a 2006 mission rescuing 23 crewman from the Singapore-flagged Cougar Ace cargo
vessel that had severely listed to one side. HH-60G crewmen and pararescue flew more than 1,000 miles
over ocean waters to execute.
Army Guard Road,
JBER, AK 99505