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AFRCC rescue effort for Montana campers marks 345 lives saved

Air Force Coordination Center staff at work on the controller floor. The AFRCC is responsible for assisting coordination with all inland search and rescue requests, 24/7/365,   from around the continental United States. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Andrew Scott)

Air Force Coordination Center staff at work on the controller floor. The AFRCC is responsible for assisting coordination with all inland search and rescue requests, 24/7/365, from around the continental United States. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Andrew Scott)

The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center here helped coordinate two CH-47 helicopters to assist with the evacuation of 140 campers in August, Montana who were threatened by flood waters. The AFRCC is responsible for assisting coordination with all inland search and rescue requests, 24/7/365, from around the continental United States. (Courtesy photo)

The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center here helped coordinate two CH-47 helicopters to assist with the evacuation of 140 campers in August, Montana who were threatened by flood waters. The AFRCC is responsible for assisting coordination with all inland search and rescue requests, 24/7/365, from around the continental United States. (Courtesy photo)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) assisted with evacuating 140 campers, state Search and Recovery (SAR) personnel and a dog, after flood waters damaged roads near a Bible camp southwest of Augusta, Montana.

Civil authorities requested the center’s assistance as a precautionary measure after they discovered the stranded campers had severely limited supplies.

Once the AFRCC received the call, Controllers combed through a list of SAR assets resulting in the Montana Army National Guard providing two CH-47 Chinook helicopters to support the SAR effort.

Campers were transported to Grand Forks International Airport where they were met by state emergency personnel.

“Our Airmen reacted precisely, efficiently and remained calm during what was considered a mass rescue operation,” said Lt. Col. Gene Manner, AFRCC director. “But no matter what type of call or notification comes into the center, we help save lives.”

This year, the AFRCC has assisted in saving more than 345 lives and investigated 4,997 incidences.

For more information, go to http://www.1af.acc.af.mil/Units/AFRCC.