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Press Release | May 4, 2023

U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian and Alaska Army National Guard crews to conduct search and rescue exercises near Sitka, Alaska

D17 Public Affairs

SITKA, Alaska — The crews of Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Royal Canadian Air Force 442 Squadron, Sitka Mountain Rescue, Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman and Juneau Army National Guard are scheduled to conduct multiple search-and-rescue (SAR) exercises next week in the areas surrounding Sitka.

The exercises will include increased helicopter operations and take place Monday, May 8, through Friday, May 12.

Crews will begin the week focusing on basic rescue techniques that allow the different organizations to observe each other’s standard practices. Later, the crews will execute several mini scenarios focused on employing specific SAR skills. Finally, all crews will come together to execute a mass-casualty response exercise toward the end of the week.

“Air Station Sitka often works alongside other Coast Guard units, as well as local, state, federal, and international partners, to execute demanding rescues in both maritime and inland areas, often during periods of harsh weather,” said Cmdr. Vincent Jansen, Air Station Sitka’s commanding officer. “We’re excited to host our partners for a week of training. Exercises such as these allow crews to learn best practices from each other, practice integrating efforts, and strengthen organizational partnerships.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is southeast Alaska’s lead search and rescue entity, working closely with their partners in Canada. Exercises with the RCAF 442 Rescue Squadron from Comox, British Columbia, were paused due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, but efforts to renew the joint training exercises began last year and included other local, state, and federal partners.

For more information contact: Lt. Cmdr. Wryan Webb at