by Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar
173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/1/2015 - KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. -- As
wildfires threaten to consume forests and homes around the state of
Oregon, 55 Airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing have volunteered to fight
The volunteers traveled north to Salem Aug. 25, where they began
firefighting training at the Department of Public Safety Standards and
"It's my home state, and right now it's seen better times," said Staff
Sgt. Corey Lingren, one of the volunteers from the 173rd Fighter Wing.
"I figured why not help out the community and fight some fires."
The volunteers' role will consist of providing support to the wild land
firefighters with clean up, putting out hotspots, and providing
assistance wherever they are needed said Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Elliott,
one of the 55 volunteers.
"You've got a team of people who don't know how to fail and we will be very successful at whatever we do," Elliott added.
These Airmen are part of the additional 250 Oregon National Guard
members activated by Governor Kate Brown. They will be joining 125
Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers who began training, Aug. 22.
This response is part of the Oregon National Guard's ongoing agreement
with the Oregon Department of Forestry known as Operation Plan Smokey.
More than 400 Oregon Guardsmen are currently devoted to assisting first
responders and incident commanders for Oregon's firefighting season.