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Minnesota National Guard
Thirteen Minnesota National Guard soldiers assisting fire suppression near Fourtown, Minn.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 2

ST PAUL, Minn - At the direction of Gov Mark Dayton, two Minnesota National Guard UH-60 "Black Hawk" helicopters with aircrew, maintenance and fuel support teams are assisting the ongoing efforts to control the fire near Fourtown, Minn, today

"Due to the low precipitation levels this past year, we anticipated there may be a request for our help in assisting with fire suppression efforts," said Army Maj Scott J Rohweder, chief of operations for the Joint Operations Center, Minnesota National Guard

"We're working closely with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center and Department of Natural of Resources to manage support requests," said Rohweder

"Army Aviation Support Facilities from St Paul, Minn, are providing aircraft and a fuel truck," said Army Maj Michael R Barker, liaison officer for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 34th Infantry Division "Aircraft are scheduled to depart at 10:30 am today and arrive at Thief River Falls Airport, Thief River Falls, Minn A total of 13 soldiers are supporting the fire suppression efforts"

"We train for proficiency in water bucket operations approximately twice a month from spring to late fall," said Army Cpt Jed A Gadient, Supervisory Instructor Pilot "This provides an opportunity for realistic training and maintaining readiness for missions such as this"

According to the Minnesota Incident Command System, the fire has burned approximately 600 acres and due to changing wind conditions is spreading south

View photos on Facebook of Minnesota National Guard Black Hawks conducting training at Camp Ripley on April 5: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a40014191666548097677170829766263364&type=1

For more information on the Minnesota National Guard, visit www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs at ngmnpublicaffairs@ngarmymil or call 651-282-4410

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