Alaska National Guard fights Alaska wildfires

Last summer has been full of wildfires throughout Alaska. Numerous firefighting teams have been called up from the lower United States to help in the fight. One of the teams that have joined in the fight is a local team, the Alaska Army National Guard. Using two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and Bambi-Buckets, the Alaska Army National Guard teams have been performing firefighting missions in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, Fire Services based out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. On Friday, June 26, the team flew their aircraft down to Tok, Alaska, to assist in fighting a few large fires in the area. Using internal aircraft communications, the crew chief Sgt. Philip Peter talked to the pilots Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nyle Harrison and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Molly Reque to guide them onto ponds. From that point the crew used the Bambi-Bucket to gather around 800 gallons of water and fly to the selected area of the fire to extinguish the flames in that location. The dropping of the water could be controlled by either the pilots or the crew chief. The teams worked with the fire mission flight controller, who circled the area in a plane and guided both the helicopters and skimmer aircraft onto flare up areas. Both the helicopters and skimmers took turns bombarding the fire filled trees with water until they reached their flight time limits.

Last summer has been full of wildfires throughout Alaska. Numerous firefighting teams have been called up from the lower United States to help in the fight. One of the teams that have joined in the fight is a local team, the Alaska Army National Guard. Using two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and Bambi-Buckets, the Alaska Army National Guard teams have been performing firefighting missions in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, Fire Services based out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. On Friday, June 26, the team flew their aircraft down to Tok, Alaska, to assist in fighting a few large fires in the area. Using internal aircraft communications, the crew chief Sgt. Philip Peter talked to the pilots Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nyle Harrison and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Molly Reque to guide them onto ponds. From that point the crew used the Bambi-Bucket to gather around 800 gallons of water and fly to the selected area of the fire to extinguish the flames in that location. The dropping of the water could be controlled by either the pilots or the crew chief. The teams worked with the fire mission flight controller, who circled the area in a plane and guided both the helicopters and skimmer aircraft onto flare up areas. Both the helicopters and skimmers took turns bombarding the fire filled trees with water until they reached their flight time limits. (Photo by Sherman Hogue/Fort Wainwright PAO)

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