Our unit remains busy with fixed wing and rotary wing flights in support of Coast Guard missions throughout Alaska. I especially appreciate the strong partnerships we maintain locally. We have flown 12 missions in the last several months where helicopters rescued people across Kodiak Island and transferred them to local emergency medical services. We appreciate the excellent support from local first responders during these cases. Additionally, we have partnered with the Alaska State Troopers for successful resolution of many cases including a boat taking on water and a missing ATV rider.
An aircrew deployed to Prince William Sound recently and rescued a crewmember aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System motor vessel Kennicott. The injured member was hoisted to the helicopter and transported to emergency medical personnel in Valdez.
As members of Air Station Kodiak, we also take special pride in our ability to carry out exceptionally long-range search and rescue. In October 2013, a crewmember was critically injured on the bulk carrier Anne Mette. At the time, the ship was over 500 miles southwest of Adak Island and over 1,400 miles from Kodiak. Rescuing this mariner required two fixed wing C-130s with two flight crews and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters with a total of six flight crews. It took approximately 20 hours to get on scene with the ship, and unit crews flew over 8,000 miles in challenging weather conditions to save this mariner’s life.
In addition to search and rescue, it is also rewarding to be involved in community projects across Kodiak Island, including movement of people and supplies to Old Harbor to support the village’s runway expansion project, and supporting the annual Santa to the Villages project. I am also proud to see the daily involvement of Coast Guard members and families in Kodiak schools, theater, sports programs, churches, volunteer organizations, and many other activities.
Thank you again for making the island and town of Kodiak what will be, for many of us Coasties, our favorite and most memorable tour of duty. Happy Coast Guard Day!