Military News

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Kingsley Field Airmen activated to help with state wild fires

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 blazes.

The volunteers traveled north to Salem Aug. 25, where they began firefighting training at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

"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.

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