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Press Release
December 12, 2006
Updated information on search operations on Mt. Hood
The Oregon Army National Guard launched a Military Air Rescue Team (MART) configured aircraft (UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter) at 9:20 this morning in order to get the aircraft to Hood River. Upon arrival at the Hood River Airport the crew began direct coordination with the Search and Rescue (SAR) agencies at the Hood River Sheriff's Incident Command Post (ICP). As the weather on the mountain is still not conducive to aerial operations, the intent is to be closer to the scene allowing the crew to be able to directly assess the search and recovery operations at the ICP, and to provide search assistance as required/allowable(weather permitting) and for potential SAR agency passenger hauls from Hood River to areas closer to the search effort.
The crew landed at Hood River at 10:20 a.m. and was transported to the ICP by Hood River Sheriff (HRS) personnel. Currently, the ICP is moving SAR personnel to the search site via snow cats and leaving the aircraft on standby awaiting any weather windows higher up the mountain (currently, the ceilings are below the search areas).
The ICP is indicating that the likely use of the Blackhawk would be to cover search areas not covered by ground personnel, again, weather permitting.
The aircraft is crewed by pilot CW4 Gregg Schroeder, co-pilot CW2 Shaun Lazier, crew chief Sgt. Rob Armstrong and flight medic, Sgt. William Welborne.
Members of the MART Team of the Oregon Army National Guard train year round for search and rescue operations in the mountainous areas of Oregon and southwest Washington. Medevac operations in a large part of their military mission and the Oregon Army Guard has highly trained, professionals who have been recognized by National level awards on numerous occasions.
Capt Mike Braibish
cell 503-932-5805
Kay Fristad
cell 503-931-5179