AETC   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > All in a weekend's work: Fairchild rescue flight saves 2 lives
Previous ImageNext Image
36th RQF hoists two saves in one weekend
Bart Rayniak gets rescued by Airmen from Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., when he was kayaking where Marble Creek flows into the St. Joe’s River, Wash., June 13, 2014. The 36th Rescue Flight Airmen answered the call saving not one, but two lives in one weekend. (Courtesy photo)
Download HiRes
All in a weekend's work: Fairchild rescue flight saves 2 lives

Posted 6/24/2014   Updated 6/24/2014 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

6/24/2014 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Airmen from the 36th Rescue Flight, an Air Education and Training Command unit, answered the call to save not only one, but two lives in one weekend.

On June 13 at 5:30 p.m., Capt. Berto Holt, the 36th RQF operations supervisor, received a call that a kayaker was stranded 70 miles southeast of Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Within a few hours, the crew launched the UH-1N Huey and was enroute to the man's location.

The individual had been kayaking where Marble Creek flows into the St. Joe's River when his board flipped over, ejecting him into the cold water.

"There were some challenges that occurred during the rescue due to the weather, but the crew of Rescue 48 never gave up," said Maj. Jennings Marshall, the 36th RQF commander. "At 8:30 p.m., Capt. Nate Jolls, a 36th RQF pilot, with the survivor on board, began an approach back toward the ambulance where Maj. Montsho Corppetts, a 336th Training Support Squadron medic, was waiting."

Two days later, on June 15, the crew received a call at approximately 11:30 a.m. that there was an injured hiker along the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern Washington needing quick extraction.

"He had been walking along a steep and snowy section of the trail when he slipped and tumbled down the mountainside, hitting a tree and breaking several ribs," Marshall said. "Fortunately, his hiking buddy was able to call for help."

Capt. Erik Greendyke, the 36th RQF operations supervisor, worked with Marshall to assemble a crew. The crew then launched at 1 p.m. and followed the Methow River past Mazama, Wash., to the hiker's location.

"Other hikers prepared a bright orange tent along the ridgeline that helped us immediately identify the area with minimal searching," Marshall said. "As soon as we rescued the injured hiker and his hiker buddy, the survivor was then loaded onto an ambulance with the help of Capt. Josiah Hart, the 36th RQF standardization and evaluation liaison officer, and Staff Sgt. Nicholas Poe, a 36th RQF special missions aviator, and departed for the hospital."

Helicopter rescue operations can be dangerous, but the 36th RQF crews constantly train to maintain proficiency in rescue operations as part of the mission to support the Air Force's only Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school.

"We take great effort to ensure rescues are executed safely and with as little risk as possible," Marshall said. "Our normal training missions take place at Fairchild and in the Colville National Forest and we have been tasked to perform civilian rescues throughout the Pacific Northwest in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana."

Bart Rayniak, the kayaker survivor, was happy that the U.S. Air Force was there to rescue him.

"I was never able to truly thank my rescuers. They were so wonderful! They put their lives on the line to save mine," Rayniak said. "They were amazing flyers and crew. They were professional and caring. Damn good at what they do. I will always be grateful."

No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside AETC

ima cornerSearch

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act