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Press Release | May 7, 2024

Coast Guard, Air Force, Sitka Mountain Rescue crews conduct exercises near Sitka, Alaska

D17 Public Affairs

SITKA, Alaska — The crews of Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco (WPC 1122), Sitka Mountain Rescue, and Air Force 210th, 211th, and 212th Rescue Squadrons conducted search and rescue (SAREX) exercises near Sitka, April 30-May 2.

In a collaborative effort across land and water, multiple agencies joined forces to evaluate interagency communication, response plans, and responder actions during a series of simulated scenarios. This exercise aimed to enhance coordination and preparedness for potential emergencies.

"The 2024 SAREX enhanced collaboration among different organizations and first responders united by a shared objective of saving lives,” said Capt. Vincent Jansen, commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Station Sitka. “Ongoing cooperation and understanding of each other's strengths are essential for overcoming potential challenges and during this SAREX we accomplished that. We are constantly humbled by our partner agencies and we look forward to hosting more training evolutions like this in the future.”

Each year, personnel from the Coast Guard Seventeenth District engage in collaborative agency SAREXs throughout Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.

The Coast Guard search and rescue program strives to decrease casualties, injuries, and property loss at sea, mitigate risks for responders, optimize resource allocation, and maintain a prominent role in maritime search and rescue effectiveness worldwide.

To watch a video highlighting this SAREX, click here:

Coast Guard, Air Force, Sitka Mountain Rescue crews conduct exercises near Sitka, Alaska (SAREX 2024)