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Memories & Mileposts: Proven Partnerships

1995: Rampart, Stevens Village bring knowledge, partnership to Yukon River response readiness

Part of the Rampart crew prepping for an exercise along the Yukon River in 2021. Rampart Response Group pictured above from left to right: Ben Newman, Ada Jordan, Mary Wiehl, Shelia Justice, Clifton “Max” Wiehl Jr., Kobi Purdy, Dawn Newman and Margaret Moses.

Alyeska’s Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) group works annually with Rampart and Stevens Village to ensure TAPS is ready to respond in an incident along the Yukon River and other water crossings. Their longstanding partnership has existed since 1995, and several team members have celebrated milestones of 20-25 years of exercises, drills and response efforts.

Gary Breen, Alyeska Pipeline EP&R Supervisor, and Gage Easton, YRB Baseline Laborer, preparing to transition passengers between vessels.

Gary Breen, Alyeska Pipeline Emergency Preparedness & Response Supervisor, described the ongoing partnership as a win-win situation as he prepares to bring on and train a few new members this year.

“These crews are a fantastic addition to the EP&R work we do along TAPS,” said Breen. “Both Alyeska crews and our partners along the Yukon have a chance to learn from each other during the drills and trainings we do together annually. Conditions on waterways change every year and season, and we’re better prepared when working with these two groups.”

The crews train out of Alyeska’s Yukon Response Base (YRB) and have been a part of dozens of drills and exercises over the decades. Groups participate in five-day sessions of team building and collaboration while meeting exercise goals: preparation, execution and post-exercise equipment storage.

Alyeska employees closest to the response groups often share stories and examples about the resourcefulness of Rampart team members; recalling quick solutions during times when items are not readily available or a substitute for a supply is needed.

Earl Rose, Alyeska OSCP Lead, and Lou Cardona, Alyeska Civil Maintenance Coordinator, discussing conditions of the river along the way to Rampart.

During a gear prep session in 2021, Rampart’s Margaret Moses reflected on the importance of being a member of this response group that protects the area she and so many close to her call home.

“We live along the Yukon River with our families,” said Moses. “I want to be a part of this work, to ensure our fishing and hunting areas are protected. The training is fun, too. I enjoy working with the equipment and Alyeska group.”

This partnership continues, with a few new members joining the Rampart crew this year. With several seasoned team members still participating, the goal is to keep passing knowledge to new crew members, ensuring that the area around the Yukon remains guarded with those who grew up in the area and know it best. As Alyeska celebrates 45 years of operations, the EP&R group recognizes the influence this partnership has had on their program since 1995 and looks forward to working alongside crews on the Yukon each year.

The Rampart crew during an exercise along the Yukon River in 2021.
Rampart Response crew member Mary Wiehl and Lou Cardona, Alyeska Civil Maintenance Coordinator, lowering the vessel ramp to board other participants.








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Memories & Mileposts: Proven Partnerships

2022 AFN video spotlight: Rampart responders

This video, which debuted to a live audience at the 2022 Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention in Anchorage, spotlights the work of the Rampart responders, and offers the perspectives of Alyeska Alaska Native Program leadership, EP&R team leads, and Patty Green, Alyeska Village Response Group member and Rampart resident.