17 WING WINNIPEG – A CC-130 Hercules Crew from 17 Wing’s 435 “Chinthe” Transport and Rescue Squadron return after searching for a missing Minnesota hunter. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., despatched the CC-130 Hercules aircraft at approximately 4:40 p.m. today after the 38 year old male was reported missing to Beltrami County’s sheriff department. A second crew from 435 Squadron will continue the search at first light Wednesday, October 18th.
The hunter was last seen on Monday, October 16th with his golden retriever, and failed to return as planned. “The weather was at search minimum required to conduct safe operations,” said Major Kelly Freitag, “so it was challenging, but our crew is well trained.”
The 435 Squadron crew searched the area, communicating with the local sheriff’s office, to learn that the hunter did not carry a signalling device with him. The Aircrew continued to search into the dark with Night Vision Goggles hoping the hunter had a signalling device, such as a mirror or flashlight. The county sheriff’s office and a ground search and rescue team with K9s were also searching for the hunter.
”Often agencies, such as the police, will request 435 Sqn’s Search and Rescue support,” explained Maj. Freitag. Since 435 Squadron specializes in marine and air rescue, the missing persons search was outside of its normal responsibilities. The search was also located outside of its normal SAR Region.
Aircrew members of later team who participated in the successful mission are Maj. Kelly Freitag, Aircraft Commander, Capt. Kashe Bryngelson, First Officer, Capt. Terry Wheadon, Navigator, Sgt. Wayne Webster, Flight Engineer, Sgt. Steve Joyce, Loadmaster, Sgt. Willaim Cloutier and MCpl Shawn Harrison, Search and Rescue Technicians. 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron maintains a state of continuous readiness to conduct search and rescue missions.
The mission of 435 “Chinthe” Transport and Rescue Squadron is to conduct air mobility and search and rescue operations. 435 Squadron tasks include airlift of freight and passengers, air-to-air refuelling of fighter aircraft in Canada and around the world and search and rescue operations within the Trenton Search and Rescue Region from the border with the United States to the geographic North Pole.
Source: Canadian Forces (DND/CF)
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