HomeNewsArticle Display

40th Helicopter Squadron rescues missing snowmobilers

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AFNS) --

A UH-1N Iroquois with a five-man aircrew rescued two missing snowmobilers south of the town of Neihart, Jan. 29.

The crew responded to King’s Hill, a local recreation site, to locate and retrieve the snowmobilers who were reported missing after the 341st Missile Wing command post received the distress call.

The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance in locating a 75-year-old and a 71-year-old, with known medical conditions, who became lost during a snowmobiling trip.

The 40th Helicopter Squadron then dispatched pilots, Maj. Nicholas Morris and Maj. Derek Winkler; flight engineers Master Sgt. Joe Cox and Tech. Sgt. Drew Lambert; and 341st Medical Group medical technician, Staff Sgt. Tim Rohlfing.

Once in the air, the crew’s goal was to search for, and if necessary, recover the missing snowmobilers from the Little Belt Mountains, a segment of the northern Rocky Mountains.

“Weather was good on base, but in the mountains, the mountain-tops were obscured by clouds,” said Maj. Jeffrey Miser, 40th HS assistant director of operations. “At high altitudes, the clouds were a factor.”

While the temperature was above freezing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana,UH-1N helicopter the search area was almost 10 degrees colder.

Once the helicopter crew arrived at the Little Belt Mountains, they met with CCSO and Meahger County sheriffs at the snowmobile trailhead.

The crew picked up trail-groomer personnel, as they were most knowledgeable of the mountain’s terrain, and followed the trails by air in an attempt to locate the missing snowmobilers.

As the trails elevated, the terrain became more and more engulfed by clouds, causing the helicopter crew to divert from the search route.

To combat the low visibility, the aircraft searched below cloud level and followed different water drainages to reach higher altitude as they climbed the mountain.

“The ground search team eventually located the lost snowmobilers - who were in good health – and moved them to lower terrain,” Miser said. “The ground team then heard the helicopter and vectored the crew to the survivors’ location.”

Upon locating each other, the helicopter crew returned the trail groomer personnel to the staging area before resuming recovery of the snowmobilers.

Then, a hoist was used to lower Rohlfing to the survivors to conduct an initial medical assessment: the couple was in good health despite staying overnight in deep snow.

With a combined effort of the multiple state and federal agencies, the 40th HS found and transported the snowmobilers to emergency medical personnel for further medical assistance.

“Outstanding job by the 40th HS and the 341st MDG,” said Chief Master Sgt. Ron Harper, 341st MW command chief. “We are extremely proud of our highly-trained personnel with their ability to render aid and provide expedient service to those in need.”

The 40th HS ensures strategic security by providing flexible, rapid-response helicopter airlift support to the 341st MW. The squadron also performs aerial surveillance of Department of Defense strategic weapon conveys and short-notice emergency security forces responses as well as supports emergency war order taskings and priority personnel and logistical transportation.

The 40th HS has a proud rescue history and currently conducts search and rescue missions in support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff National Search and Rescue plan.

“We’re thrilled to be good neighbors to our community,” said Col. Jennifer Reeves, 341st MW commander. “We are so proud of the men and women of the 40th HS and the 341st MDG who gladly put their lives on the line to facilitate the rescue of our fellow Montanans.”

Engage

Twitter
.@AFGlobalStrike tackled B-1B readiness issues head-on by readying the fleet with a roadmap to recovery over a 2-yr… https://t.co/dEfZemGKbb
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years of the U.S. Air Force, we remember the heroes we are proud to have served with. Today we… https://t.co/3pdHX3DvIn
Twitter
Flying, fighting and winning since 1947. #USAF73 https://t.co/qM28ykPZwt
Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: Proud to fly the @usairforce flag today and every day! Happy 73rd Birthday! #YourAcademy #FamilyWeek https://t.co/hOIs1ghq7M
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Today we honor the #heroes who knew the worst of war and the agony of captivity - those who fought for and lost their fre…
Twitter
RT @ArmyMateriel: Join us in wishing a Happy Birthday to our brothers and sisters in the United States Air Force! #DYK The Air Force was…
Twitter
RT @JBABdc: Happy 73rd birthday, @usairforce! The USAF Band and Honor Guard were thrilled to help kick off the celebration on Fox & Friends…
Twitter
RT @AFSAHQ: Happy Birthday to the world's greatest @UsAirForce ! 73 years of excellence, service and sacrifice. Thank you to all the #Air
Twitter
RT @97AMW: Happy 73rd birthday @usairforce! As we celebrate today, we honor the heroism of our Airmen, past and present, who have been the…
Twitter
RT @53rdWRS: Special birthday shoutout to @usairforce! 73 never looked so good! What better way to celebrate than by flying another missio…
Twitter
RT @HollomanAFB: #happybirthday Birthday @usairforce ✈️🇺🇸🎊🎉 Happy Friday! We made it! #F16Friday #combatairpower https://t.co/EedHtI62sn
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Today, we celebrate 7️⃣3️⃣ years as the world's leading source of #airpower✈️ Fly, Fight, Win! #USAF73 #AFBDay https://t.…
Twitter
RT @156WingPRANG: From all the PRANG Airmen, Happy 73rd Birthday @usairforce. Fly, Fight, Win! #AimHigh #USAF #PRANG #theGreatest #Wingmen
Twitter
RT @WarriorCare: To our heroes in the sky✈️, we want to wish you a Happy Birthday 🎂 https://t.co/OvGEBUOKNO
Twitter
RT @180thFW: Celebrating 73 years of AIR POWER! Happy Birthday United States Air Force! Air National Guard | Ohio National Guard https:/…
Twitter
RT @AlabamaNG: #HappyBirthday to the @usairforce and an especially warm birthday shoutout to our more than 2,000 ALNG Airmen. Even at 73, y…
Twitter
RT @WANationalGuard: Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force! Happy Birthday to the @usairforce from the citizen-airmen (and soldiers) of the @…
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Happy Birthday to the U.S. Air Force! #USAF73 https://t.co/l81S1DmDFe
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,279,243
Follow Us