Dozens of helicopter pilots and maintenance personnel from Alaska’s Air National Guard are heading overseas to combat the Islamic State.
The Guard announced Monday afternoon that 60 members of the 210th rescue squadron under the 176th Wing are deploying to assist in Operation Inherent Resolve, the United States’ military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The deployment will last four months, and airmen will be based in Southwest Asia. Major John Callahan, a spokesman for the National Guard in Alaska, declined to specify which country.
Operation Inherent Resolve began in 2014. It involves units from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines who have conducted more than 17,000 air strikes and been part of efforts to arm and assist regional allies on the ground.
The guardsmen are pilots and support crews for Pavehawk helicopters used in rescuing service-members behind enemy lines. In Alaska they regularly take part in search and rescue missions in remote and dangerous terrain.
Guardsmen are set to deploy early Tuesday morning from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.