Friday, August 24, 2018

Firefighter Training at CSTX

Firefighter Training at CSTX 86-18-02\
Photo by Spc. John Russell
86th Training Division 

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 376th Firefighter Detachment, 416th Engineer Command, rest on the ground during burn house training at Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 86-18-02 at Fort McCoy, Wis., August 17, 2018. This is the second CSTX of the summer for the 86th Training Division. The CSTX exercise is a large-scale training event where units experience tactical training scenarios specifically designed to replicate real-world missions. (U.S. Army Reserve Photo by Spc. John Russell)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fire Mass Casualty Training

Patriot Warrior 2018- Fire Mass Casualty Training
Photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Priest
4th Combat Camera Squadron 

U.S. Air Force and Army firefighters assigned to 433rd Civil Engineering Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, 4th Civil Engineer Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and 376th Engineer Firefighter Detachment, Ill., participate in a mass casualty training scenario at Sparta/Ft. McCoy Airport, Wis., Aug. 17, 2018, during exercise Patriot Warrior. Patriot Warrior is Air Force Reserve Command’s premier exercise, providing an opportunity for Reserve Citizen Airmen to train with joint and international partners in airlift, aeromedical evacuation, and mobility support operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas A. Priest)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Keeping firefighting helos moving, a joint effort

Nev Guard fighting Mendocino Complex Fire 3 of 4
Fire rages through a draw at the Mendocino Complex Fire, Aug 16th in Northern California. Fighting the fire was a combined effort between CAL FIRE, California National Guard, and Nevada National Guard. (Army photo by Spc. Malachi Mansfield)
Story by Spc. Malachi Mansfield 
106th Public Affairs Detachment  
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CHICO, California- Extinguishing the flames of the of the Mendocino Complex Incident, is no small task. One part of the operation is the Nevada Army National Guard 2/238th Aviation. They were responsible for fueling the firefighting aircraft. The efforts consisted of the 1/189th Aviation CH-47 callsign Mustang and the 2/238th Medevac UH-60 callsign Wolfpack. The Wolfpack dropped 427 buckets of water totaling 310,925 buckets of water in over 80 hours of flight time. Mustang performed 136 bucket drops. They dropped 274,000 gallons in 45.2 hours of flight time. This mission wouldn’t be possible without the utilities and maintenance crew but getting the helicopters in the air has its challenges.

“I got a call at 7:00 at night, they wanted me to come out with another fuel truck. We showed up at 4:30 in the morning to get the truck ready,” said Sgt. David Jensen, a Fueler for the 2/238th Aviation, Nevada Army National Guard. He said with only one truck at the heliport near Elk Creek, the fuel crew was left having to drive almost 200 miles per trip. This left the aircraft idle and wasted valuable time that could be better spent fighting the fire.

“It wouldn’t be possible without working together. The mission wouldn’t be functional,” Jensen commented further. The California National Guard provided additional operational readiness by streamlining the fueling process. Even with the additional manpower and fuel trucks, the trucks were still taking long trips. The California National Guard provided a 5,000-gallon tanker, that cut down our travel quite a bit and allowed for faster refueling, Jensen remarked.

On working with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Staff Sgt. Melissa Leist, Aviation Operations NCO of the 1/189th General Support Aviation Battalion said: “CAL FIRE ensured that all needs we anticipated or came across were always met quickly.” She said Soldiers transformed a field into a heliport and were designed to stage and maintain equipment. The field also provided a place for the crew to rest and recover. 

“Coordination with the different agencies to ensure the soldier’s needs were met is the most important task for operations and being in a remote location required constant communication with the different representatives and our state.” Said Leist.

As of August 18th, 2018 the Mendocino Complex fire is 380,690 acres and with the help of the Nevada National Guard the fire is 77% contained.