The Alaska Army National Guard combined a festive mission with a critical medical emergency response. While transporting Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elves, and gifts to the village of Tuluksak, they received an urgent call for a medical evacuation in Napaskiak. The crew efficiently managed to deliver the gifts and then transport a critically ill patient to an ambulance in Bethel, showcasing their adaptability and commitment to community service.
- Santa Claus Mission: The Alaska Army National Guard was originally on a mission to deliver Christmas gifts and cheer to the children of Tuluksak using a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
- Urgent Medical Evacuation: An emergency call from Napaskiak required the crew to pivot to a medical mission, demonstrating their readiness to respond to urgent needs.
- Challenging Conditions: The evacuation was necessary due to inadequate ice on the river for vehicles and poor weather preventing small plane landings.
- Efficient Response: The crew managed to balance both missions by quickly delivering gifts to Tuluksak before attending to the medical emergency.
- Community Support Tradition: This event is part of a longstanding tradition where the Alaska National Guard supports remote communities, a practice that began in 1956.