The 58th Special Operations Wing and its 512th Rescue Squadron in the US were congratulated by two hikers who the airmen had saved, at its Kirtland Air Force Base on 12 December. Carol Powell and Ronda Ramsier were rescued by the squadron’s HH-60G Pave Hawks after being stranded for 36 hours with their two llamas near Durango, Colorado, US during a hike in early August 2016.
Powell and Ramsier wore the same clothes they were rescued in and brought the airmen pastries to say thank you.
“It was a life-changing experience,” said Powell. “You come close to thinking that it is the end and then the military comes and saves you.”
Ramsier explained why they visited the base: “We heard from our local search and rescue that they never hear back from anyone rescued, and we couldn’t understand that. Our memories of what these guys did for us are overwhelming.”
The two were given a full tour of the squadron as well as meeting the two crews that searched for them.
“This rescue was very challenging,” said Lt Col Nicholas Dipoma, 512th RQS commander. “Not just any crew would have been able to go out in such inclement weather and lead such a successful mission. I’m very proud of the crew for putting all the non-stop training that we do to use.”