Four pararescuemen and two combat rescue officers with Air Force Reserve Command’s 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland, Ore., helped save three mountain climbers and a dog trapped on Mount Hood Feb. 18. The climbers and their dog—roped together—had fallen through a snowy overhang on a ridge. The pararescuemen searched, sometimes in whiteout conditions, for more than 12 hours, using a directional antenna to pinpoint a mountain locator unit the climbers had activated, and marked a safe trail for follow-on rescuers. On Feb. 19, climbers and rescuers walked out to where they could ride down the mountain in a Snocat.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.