Reserve rescuers join search for missing skier on Mt Hood
By 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 09, 2017
MOUNT HOOD, Ore. --
Amidst avalanche warnings and whiteout conditions, Air Force Reserve Guardian Angel Airmen from the 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland, Ore., combined forces with two dozen other searchers and the Air National Guard to help find a missing skier March 9.
According to the Hood River County Sherriff, Steve Leavitt, 57, was reported missing Tuesday, March 6, when he did not return home from skiing at Mount Hood Meadows.
Despite all-day search efforts, Leavitt is still missing.
The search has been ongoing since March 7 and resumed again Thursday, March 9, at first light, according to the HRCS.
HRCS put in a call for assistance March 8 for specialized rescuers with adverse terrain mobility, avalanche Level 1 Certification, technical rope rescue capability and advanced medical care.
Snow machines, alpine mobility gear, technical rope equipment and cold weather survival gear was among some of the special equipment utilized by 304th RQS rescuers.
In addition to the AF Reserve and Guard, multiple agencies, including the Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Portland Mountain Rescue, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol and the Crag Rats, are looking for Leavitt, according to the HRCS.
AFR Guardian Angel Airmen are the only specialized and equipped personnel recovery specialists in the Department of Defense. As special operators, they are highly trained combat trauma specialists with specialized skills in mountain climbing, among many others technical proficiencies, which allows them to perform complex rescues anywhere in the world in any type of environment.