Kingsley Field Airmen activated to help with state wild fires

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Forty-nine volunteer Citizen-Airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing and 270th Air Traffic Control Squadron are part of the additional 250 Oregon National Guard members called up by Governor Kate Brown to assist with ongoing firefighting efforts throughout the state.

The personnel are scheduled to report to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), in Salem, Oregon to undergo firefighting training starting Wednesday, Aug. 26. DPSST officials say the additional group should complete their training by Aug. 30.

The 250 volunteers are comprised of Oregon Guard units from around the state. Half of the additional Guard members are Citizen-Airmen from the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland, Oregon, and the 173rd FW in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The other half of the Guard members are from the Oregon Army National Guard's 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

A group of 125 Oregon Soldiers who are currently undergoing training at DPSST are scheduled to complete their training by Aug. 25. As of Monday, Aug. 24, this first group is scheduled to head to the Canyon Creek Complex Firebase where they will assist first responders, initial attack contract crews and fire managers.

Members of the media are invited to view the field training of the first group of Oregon Soldiers during a media tour on Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at the DPSST, the Oregon Public Safety Academy, located at 4190 Aumsville Highway, Salem, Oregon 97317.

The Soldiers in the first group come from units across the state, including; 224 Engineering Company, 1-186 Infantry Battalion, 1-82 Cavalry, 141 Brigade Support Battalion and 1249 Engineer Company. They join Soldiers from Charlie 7-158 Aviation, and Army and Air National Guard Joint Staff who have been participating in the effort since Aug. 3.

The Oregon National Guard has an ongoing agreement with the Oregon Department of Forestry known as Operation Plan Smokey, which stipulates the details of how Oregon National Guard members will be utilized to assist in annual firefighting. This agreement is reviewed annually by both agencies' leadership.

For more information on the Oregon National Guard's participation in this year's wildfire fighting efforts, or to RSVP for the training event at DPSST on Aug. 25, contact Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs, at 503-269-6470.

For more information on their training, contact Mr. Eriks Gabliks, Director of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, at 503-378-2332.