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JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guardsmen with the 212th Rescue Squadron parachute from a 211th RSQ HC-130J Combat King II aircraft on to the frozen Beaufort Sea several hundred miles north of the Alaskan coastline March 5, 2018. This is the first time the Arctic Sustain Package, an air droppable package accompanied by rescue personnel that can provide shelter, heat, transportation, fuel, and food for 28 individuals for up to six and half days in extreme arctic conditions, has been dropped from the units new HC-130J Combat King II after receiving four new models last year. The training is linked to the Alaska National Guard’s Arctic Eagle 2018 and U.S. Navy’s Ice Exercise. A number of Department of Defense exercises afford participating forces the opportunity to operate in a joint environment while assessing the ability to conduct sustained operations in arctic conditions including Arctic Eagle 2018, Alaskan Command’s Exercise Arctic Edge, the U.S. Army’s Arctic Pegasus, and the U.S. Navy’s ICEX. ICEX 2018 is a five-week exercise that allows the U.S. Navy to assess its operational readiness in the Arctic, increase experience in the region, advance understanding of the Arctic environment, and continue to develop relationships with other services, allies and partner organizations. The exercises occur in February and March 2018, and dates for each exercise varies. More than 50 Alaska Air and Army National Guardsmen are participating in both AE18 and ICEX.


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