July 5, 1998 – December 26, 2013

Sage was a cattle dog/lab cross whose SAR career started in Washington state with German Shepherd SearchDogs (GSSD) in 1998 and then King County Search Dogs (KCSD) from 1999-2009. She searched with theMAT+SAR K9 unit in Alaska from 2009-2013. Sage rescued and recovered over a dozen people throughout herlifetime of searching in airscent, land and water cadaver, avalanche and evidence search. She will be forever missed.



October 29, 2001 – June 28, 2016

Jake was a pure lab whose goal in life was to make everyone smile, from running silly circles to begging with his big brown eyes. He had a very kind personality and impeccable manners, thanks to his sister Sage. Jake’s favorite search was avalanche, but he also enjoyed land and water cadaver. He was a hard worker who was always eager to please, and a very happy go lucky boy. We miss you bubba…


Melvin “Mel” Conrad Nading

August 27, 1957 – March 30, 2013

On March 30, 2013, late in the evening, Alaska State Troopers Helo I went down after successfully rescuing a stranded snow-machiner in the Talkeetna Mountains near Talkeetna, Alaska. Tragically, all aboard were lost: Helo I pilot, Mel Nading, Trooper Tage Toll, and the snow-machiner.

The loss to Mel’s family, the Alaska State Troopers and the search and rescue community will be deep and lasting. Many of us have countless stories flying with Mel and will recall his steadfast nerve and confidence commanding Helo I, his unwavering commitment to helping those lost and missing, and his warm heart and resolute promise to deliver us home safely after each mission.

Mel flew over 3400 hours as the Alaska State Troopers primary pilot for Helo I since taking the reins in December 2000. He was responsible for over 750 rescues and medivacs of lost and missing persons across the state of Alaska and received many awards including the Governor’s Denali Peak Performance and a Commendation for Meritorious Services in 2008.

The hearts of those in the search and rescue community will always be with the Nading family and we are all honored to have known Mel and grateful to have served with him.

Mel, you will be missed!