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Crash recovery at Colony Glacier
Army Capt. Daniel Perpich and Staff Sgt. Joshua Richardson, of US Army Northern Warfare Training Center, search Colony Glacier for debris July 10, 2012. The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson recovery team responded to a sighting by the Alaska Army National Guard that appeared to be an aircraft wreckage. (US Army photo/Staff Sgt. Brehl Garza)
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JPAC team completes Colony Glacier investigation and recovery

Posted 7/26/2012   Updated 7/26/2012 Email story   Print story


by Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf
JBER Public Affairs

7/26/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- On June 10, debris was discovered on Colony Glacier by Alaska Army National Guardsmen, who were flying a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

In response, a specialized team from the Joint Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action Accounting Command touched down on the glacier and began the recovery effort on June 18.

The JPAC team recovered material evidence, such as life support equipment from the wreckage, and also possible osseous material from the glacier. The team completed their investigation and recovery operation June 26 and the collected evidence was transported to JPAC's Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii for further

Joint Task Force-Alaska also put a team together to collect any remaining debris left behind on the glacier. The team consisted of 10 crash recovery specialists from the 3rd Wing; one Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician and one Mortuary Affairs Specialist from the 673rd Air Base Wing; two Northern Warfare Training Center specialists from Fort Wainwright; and helicopter crews from the Alaska Army National Guard.

"The team was a true coalition of the willing," said Army Lt. Col. Chris Nall, Alaskan Command Future Operations chief. "All units involved were asked to bring their respective expertise and capabilities to the planning and execution effort. To overcome potential issues, all players were brought into the planning effort from the very beginning. This allowed everyone to assist in the planning and development of requirements."

Army Capt. Daniel Perpich, U.S. Army Northern Warfare Training Center training officer, the lead for the team on the glacier, expressed that their main goal was safety, especially with the recovery being done on an active glacier.

"Our biggest goal here is to do this recovery without any injuries at all and I think we have more than enough capabilities to accomplish that," said Perpich.

With no injuries incurred, that goal was met and the glacier will be watched over the next year.

"It was a great honor and opportunity for our team to be involved," said Roy Adkins, 3rd Maintenance Squadron Crash Recovery Wheel and Tire shop foreman. "Our team takes great pride in being able to utilize the training we have to handle each unique situation. Every time we perform a recovery operation we learn something new that benefits our team in the future. We hope that the families can finally have some type of closure and knowledge that we have done everything possible."

7/29/2012 1:31:49 PM ET
Thank you All very much for the hard work you have done to bring my grandfather and the other 51 members home off the glacier. I have been waiting 13 years for this day.Airman Anderson
Tonja Anderson , Tampa
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