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NEWS | Aug. 21, 2012

Idaho National Guard moves out to support wildfire suppression efforts

By Courtesy Story

GOWEN FIELD, Idaho - More than 100 Soldiers and Airmen of the Idaho National Guard departed here today to assume their roles in support of firefighting efforts to suppress the Trinity Wildfire.

At the direction of Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter, they were activated for State Active Duty on Aug 19, when they reported here and received a number of briefings to prepare them for the mission. Additionally, the Soldiers and Airmen stocked their assigned vehicles with supplies needed for sustained operations over the next month.

The wildfire suppression support mission is scheduled to end on Sept. 21, though that date may change based on situational needs on the ground. The Soldiers and Airmen will provide checkpoint security and helicopter support to the incident commander.

Additionally, one Idaho Army National Guard UH-72 Lakota helicopter will be based near Pine, Idaho, in order to provide evacuation capabilities for any medical emergency that might arise.

U.S. Forest Service personnel spent the day certifying the Idaho National Guard Joint Task Force and provided the Soldiers and Airmen with information such as current incident action plans, maps, situation reporters and closure restriction information.

The Guard members are set to man approximately 20 checkpoints in areas around the wildfire area.