Angels in the Arctic

C-17s and C-130s operating from JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, are airlifting more than 250 military medical personnel to remote villages throughout the state for Arctic Care 2012, a medical training exercise that runs through April 23. Since many villages in western Alaska are accessible only by air, “the direct medical care that will be provided by the doctors and nurses is usually unavailable,” said outreach administrator Pattie Lillie. During the two-week operation, the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing and Active Duty 3rd Wing are working alongside Army National Guard aircraft to shuttle teams to 16 remote locations in the Bering Strait and Norton Sound regions. In addition to aiding rural Alaskans, Arctic Care provides military medics “deployment training in a non-threatening environment,” explained Lt. Col. Sharolyn Lange, chief nurse for the 176th Medical Group, who is medical commander for the exercise’s joint task force. (Camp Denali report by Maj. Guy Hayes)