National Guard members train to fight wildfires


National Guard wildfire training

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LONGMONT, Colo. — It’s a lot like fighting a war. There is tactical planning, ground troops, transportation, food, medical, clothing. The list goes on.

But the enemy in this battle is wild land fires.

“There’s a lot of risk associated with that. Very similar to combat conditions in Afghanistan, we’re maxed out carrying troops and equipment,” said Major Troy Brown, a Buckley Air Force Base Army aviation support commander.

With the Colorado fire season almost here, the training has begun. Local fire departments along with federal, state and local National Guard have boots on the ground and helicopters in the air for a 10-day training event at Vance Brand Airport in Longmont.

It’s the largest training exercise in Colorado.

“You expect the National Guard to show up ready, prepared and integrated into the local responders, the first responders. This training ensures that,” Brown said.

Helicopters carrying what is called “Bambi” buckets rehearsed for what’s to come.

The National Guard prides itself on always being ready and always being there.  And the only way for that to happen is to train and prepare for the war that will never end.

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