Air Guard-run Rescue Center Completes 5,000th Mission

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, completed its 5,000th mission since Alaska Air National Guardsmen began running the site some 20 years ago, according to an Alaska Air Guard release. The center hit the milestone on March 27 when controllers there coordinated the successful recovery of a pilot involved in the crash of a Super Cub aircraft near the state’s Bering River, states the April 1 release. The RCC has been operating in Alaska since 1961, but beginning on July 1, 1994, the Alaska Air Guard took over its around-the-clock operations. “Our mission is to provide a safe and timely response to aircraft events over the land mass of Alaska,” said SMSgt. Robert Carte, RCC superintendent. “In addition, we assist any other search-and-rescue agency should they need military assets and coordination,” he added. This includes rescuing injured hunters, lost hikers, and those stranded at sea. The center falls under the operational command of 11th Air Force. (Camp Denali report by Kalei Rupp)