Serving the Community of Southeast Alaska
Air Station Sitka averages approximately 130 SAR cases per year, many completed in arctic weather conditions, low visibility, and periods of extended darkness . The unit maintains a 24-hour search and rescue alert crew which utilizes three Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters. Each MH-60T is crewed by two pilots, a flight mechanic, and a rescue swimmer. They are augmented with a Flight Surgeon or Aviation Mission Specialist (Corpsman) for MEDEVAC missions, which account for almost 50% of SAR cases.
Air Station Sitka crews fly surveillance patrols and transport environmental response teams which protect the pristine ecosystems located within the AOR. Air Station Sitka routinely participates in environment disaster drills, including the biannual National Pollution Environmental Response exercise which tests the ability of industry, state, and federal agencies to respond to major environmental disasters in Southeast Alaska.
Air Station Sitka crews fly approximately 140 “sorties” annually in support of federal law enforcement initiatives. Air Station Sitka remains on the cutting edge of domestic and foreign fisheries enforcement, including enforcement of the individual fishing quota (IFQ) system designed to protect marine BIOMASS from being over fished.
Air Station Sitka assists in the routine maintenance, outage response, and position verification of over 75 aids-to-navigation (ATON) found in Southeast Alaska. These aids include lighthouses, buoys, and daymarkers which assure safe navigation for commercial and recreation vessels. Air Station Sitka flies an average of 180 missions each year in support of ATON, transporting nearly on million pounds of cargo to the far-reaching stretches of Southeast.