An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew returns to Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, to transfer a patient to emergency medical personnel after hoisting him from a cruise ship July 22, 2015. The 83-year-old man was suffering from symptoms of a heart attack aboard a Holland America cruise ship requiring a medevac for immediate medical attention. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson.

Achieving new heights: Alaska-qualified aircraft commander

With an extensive 44,000 miles of shoreline, Alaska has the largest area of responsibility of all the Coast Guard districts, it also has incredibly diverse landscape and weather patterns, making it uniquely challenging for mariners and aviators.

(Left to right) Lt. Grant Langston, Petty Officer 2nd Class William Smith, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Warner and Lt. Francis Wolfe pose for a photo in front of a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter March 19, 2015. The crew was awarded the Naval Helicopter Association Aircrew of the Year (Deployed) for the rescue of a crew member aboard the South Korean research vessel Araon in August 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings.

Arctic rescue: Closing the distance

It was Aug. 19, 2014, when crewmembers at FOL Barrow were notified of a 42 year-old male who had sustained a severe head injury aboard the South Korean research vessel Araon; a vessel that was located in thick ice-covered waters 310 miles north of Barrow. It was determined that two Jayhawk crews would make the lengthy trip north and rescue the mariner.