"Fish Lizard"


Artists rendition of Ichthyosaur's life in the Jurassic oceans.


          An Ancient Marine Reptile



          B Company - "Sugar Bears North" unit patch.
242 ASHC / B Company - "Sugar Bears North" D model fielding poster.
B Company - "Sugar Bears North" High Altitude Rescue Team (HART) patch.



             Mission: From 24 through 28 June 2002, elements of B Company will deploy with two Chinook helicopters to a field training site north of the Arctic Circle and conduct tactical training. This will include navigation to a remote area, setting up a base camp in austere conditions, and communication with home base via High Frequency radio. In addition, as time permits, the unit will support the Faculty, Staff, and volunteers from University of Fairbanks Alaska (UAF) in the preservation and packaging for future transport of an ancient marine reptile.


Icthyosaur description.
   On Monday, 24 June 2002, elements of the "Sugar Bears", B Company, 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment, located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, were dispatched above the Arctic Circle to recover the fossilized remains of an ancient marine reptile.


Ichthyosaur fossil drawing.


             Using a report over 30 years old and high altitude, false color, photographs dated August 1985, Roland A. Gangloff, Ph.D. - Curator of the Earth Sciences Museum at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), set out in his quest to recover the 230 to 90 million year old remains of this long extinct sea creature known as an Ichthyosaur, from the Phylum Chordata, Sub-Phylum Vertebrata.


             In the Summer of 2001, Dr. Gangloff contacted the Commander of B Company, Major Lissa V. Young, and asked for assistance in transporting the unique and priceless find. The specimen was thought to be the only possibly intact and complete Ichthyosaur ever discovered in Alaska. After months of coordinating with higher headquarters, permission was finally granted to the Sugar Bears to support this rare opportunity at melding the heavy lift capabilities of the U.S. Army's Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter with the expertise of the scientists at UAF. Volunteers were selected from within the unit to aid in the preparation to relocate the fossil from it's final resting place to it's new home at the museum in Fairbanks.


             First discovered in 1950, the fossilized remains of the Ichthyosaur, later affectionately named "Icky" by the soldiers, was known to have last been observed on the banks of Cutaway Creek in 1991, 606.6 kilometers [km] (329.3 nautical [nm] / 379.0 statute miles [sm]) on a bearing of 291° magnetic from Fort Wainwright.



August 1985 high altitude, false color, photograph of Cutaway Creek, Ichthyosaur extraction site.

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