Alaska National Guard members helping with Harvey rescues

Airmen fuel a C-17 Globemaster III, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Aug. 28, 2017, preparing to leave for Texas to provide humanitarian support after Hurricane Harvey. The Air National Guard 176th Wing sent personnel from the 212th Rescue Squadron to provide search-and-rescue, and support aeromedical evacuation and humanitarian relief. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales)

The Alaska National Guard is sending personnel and equipment to help with on-going rescue efforts connected to Hurricane Harvey.

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On Monday morning, 13 members of the Alaska Air National Guard flew aboard a C-130 cargo plane from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to Moffett Air Field in California. They brought three inflatable boats, and will be using helicopters borrowed from the California Air National Guard to conduct rescues from the air and water in Texas. According to a release from JBER’s public affairs unit, the group includes “pararescuemen, combat rescue officers and combat support personnel.”

There aren’t currently any plans to send more Alaska guardsmen. But Jerome Baysmore with the 176th Wing, said Tuesday that the unit is standing by “if the call comes.”

Alaska Air Guardsmen last helped with similar rescue operations in 2015 after a devastating earthquake in Pakistan.