20 SEP 2017 /20:16 UTC-07 Tango 06 (30 Sharivar 1396/29 Dhu l-Hijja 1438/02 Ji-Yu 4715)
“We love doing this. This is our favorite part of the year! …..We run a great risk in this, if there’s an up-draft of heat, or a down-draft, we have to be able to be ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ to keep us in the air. There’s a lot more challenge in it, risk versus reward. It’s super rewarding when we are combating open flame all day long.”-Sergeant Joseph Ford, Oregon National Guard
Oregon Army National Guard’s Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment has dropped more than 4.5-million liters (1.2-million U.S. gallons) of water using three of their new CH-47 F-model Chinooks, in the past month and a half.
“Where else can you go where you get to do this? I have the coolest job in the world! One morning I’m at my home station, and later that afternoon I’m 5-hundred-miles away, supporting a state mission and dropping buckets of water. I get a lot of satisfaction doing these state missions.”-Sergeant Jeremy Maddox
“Those Air Attack guys have been doing this often for 20-to-30 years to get to this level, they know the big picture…we can’t put the fire out completely, but what we can do is help control it, and keep it from spreading certain directions.”-Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Brannen
“There is a lot of helicopter on the Chinooks back here (behind the flight deck or cockpit), that the pilots can’t see. Our job is to paint a picture for them, a mental picture they can’t see, so they know and feel comfortable with what we’re going into. It takes a lot of trust in the back-seaters from the pilots. It’s a team effort. Without one, the job can’t be accomplished.”-Sergeant Jeremy Maddox