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Minnesota National Guard
Firefighters from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron return Monday


April 15 ST PAUL, Minn -
Fourteen firefighters from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron are scheduled to return Monday to Minnesota after a 6-month deployment in Southwest Asia

"They are some of the last to return of a larger contingent of 67 squadron members who are a part of the 133 Airlift Wing," said Air Force Maj Arthur P Weidner, 133 Civil Engineer Squadron Executive Officer

"These firefighters were led by fire chief, Air Force Senior Master Sgt Thomas McDonough, to provide fire protection, paramedic, environmental and emergency response coverage to a large, multi-national airbase in Southwest Asia," said Weidner "During their deployment, they provided support for 14 units transitioning out of Iraq They observed an increase from 15 to 70 US aircraft and enabled the airfield to operate at more than 400 percent of the rated capacity They provided hands-on training to host nation firefighting forces on a routine basis, constructed realistic training structures and conducted live burn exercises, on and off base"

"While on base, they responded to four, in-flight emergencies," said Wiedner "These aircraft engaged the emergency arresting barriers and the possibility of aircraft fire and crew extraction may have been necessary"

"They were called to extinguish an electrical fire at a sub-station and medically evacuate several Air Force airmen and US government contractors injured by the instigating explosion," said Weidner "Their speed of response and procedural excellence greatly reduced the damage that could have occurred and allowed the base to recover to full capability in days rather than weeks"

"The 133rd firefighters provided fire education and prevention services to all the base residents," said Air Force Master Sgt Mark Legvold, base fire chief for the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron "Their efforts led to a community that was more safe in the midst of our peace-keeping operations"

"Many of these firefighters left full-time employment in departments across Minnesota such as: Virginia, Richfield, St Cloud, White Bear Lake, St Paul and Bloomington, as well as Duluth and Minneapolis-St Paul Airport fire departments," said Legvold

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND the return scheduled Monday, April 16, at the 133rd Airlift Wing, 631 Minuteman Drive, St Paul, Minn 55111, located adjacent to the Minneapolis, St Paul International Airport Please plan to arrive no later than 1:30 pm Returning airmen and their families will be available for interviews

***For access to the base, RSVP directly to Air Force Maj Ann Todd at 612-713-2435 or anntodd@ang.af.mil if you plan to attend***

For more information on the 133rd Airlift Wing visit www133awang.af.mil or follow the Wing on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/133rdAirliftWing

For more information on the Minnesota National Guard visit www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org or follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNationalGuard

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Maj Ann Todd with the 133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at anntodd@angafmil or call 612-713-2435


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