JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) approved a request by the California National Guard for Mississippi National Guard aviators to help in the efforts in battling wildfires in California.
According to the governor, 10 soldiers and a CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter deployed on Tuesday, September 7, to California. They will provide aerial water bucket operations and aviation maintenance support where needed.
“These Chinook flight crew members and maintainers are among the best and most versatile of Army Aviation,” said Capt. Lewis Howard, B Co. commander. “They have trained in many different Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) scenarios to include hurricane response, search and rescue and local law enforcement aid. We include water bucket and fire response training in our annual training plans so CALFIRE assistance is something every crew member is adequately prepared to conduct.”
“Mississippians always step up when others are in need, and our prayers are with them,” said Reeves.
Soldiers serving in support of the MSNG CALFIRE team represent the 185th Aviation Brigade headquartered in Jackson; 1-185th Aviation Regiment, Jackson; Army Aviation Support Facility #3, Meridian; Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 111th Aviation Regiment in Meridian, and A Company 1108th Theater Aviation Support Maintenance Group, Gulfport. The month-long mission is expected to continue through mid-October.