The Wyoming Army National Guard’s G Company, 2nd Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment was activated by Gov. Mark Gordon Sept. 10, to provide support for firefighting efforts in California.
According to a WYARNG press release, one UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and four crew members left Sept. 11, and will be operating from Mather Airport near Sacramento. The helicopter and crew are expected to be in the area until Sept. 25 unless extended by request.
The Black Hawk is equipped with a collapsible Bambi Bucket, a fire suppression system, which holds approximately 660 gallons of water. They will be used to drop water on hot spots that are difficult for ground crews to access.
“Our highly trained and experienced Soldiers continue to be a sword and shield for the state and Nation when called upon,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Porter, adjutant general of Wyoming. “We have the capability to aid another state in need and provide another resource to California and their citizens to help mitigate the loss of life and property during what is now (being) characterized as California’s worst fire season on record.”
According to the release, the activation is in conjunction with National Guard Support to Civil Authorities (NGSCA) and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). EMAC is an all hazards – all disciplines mutual aid compact that serves as the cornerstone of the nation’s mutual aid system. EMAC offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency or disaster through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states.
The National Guard deploys through EMAC in both State Active Duty and Title 32 statuses to assist Member States.
“I know the people of Wyoming will join me in wishing them a safe journey and safe work,” Gov. Mark Gordon said in a press briefing on Sept. 9.