Kingsley Field Airmen activated to help with state wild fires

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar
  • 173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
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.

"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 and try and help out the community and fight some fires."

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

According to Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Elliott, one of the volunteer Airmen, their role will consist of providing support to the wildland firefighters with clean up, putting out hotspots, and providing assistance wherever they are needed. 

"You've got a team of people that 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. 

All told at this time, just over 400 Oregon Guardsmen are devoted to assisting first responders and incident commanders for Oregon's firefighting season.

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