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Press Release
July 29, 2002
More National Guard troops assembled for firefighter training
 
Salem - With the state of Oregon still short 80 20-man-crew requests for fire support, the Oregon National Guard is mobilizing 250 more soldiers to assist in the wildfire suppression efforts. The 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, headquartered in Cottage Grove, has 125 troops assembling today for firefighting training at the Bend National Guard Armory. Tomorrow, July 30, 85 soldiers from the 41st Provisional Battalion, headquartered at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, will join forces with 40 airmen from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, for firefighter training at Camp Withycombe.
 
Soldiers and airmen will undergo a 30-hour basic firefighting course. The National Guardsmen will learn safety on the fire line, dousing hot spots, and general firefighting skills. The Guardsmen will be split into crews of 20 people each, with five additional support personnel on each crew.
 
The firefighting training instructors are from the Department of Public Safety, Standards and Training (DPSST), the Coos County Fire District, and private instructors hired by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
 
At this time, there is no word of which fires the National Guardsmen will be sent to.
 
In addition, a support package of 22 HMMWVs, 20 trucks, and 100 soldiers were sent to the Florence Fire in southwestern Oregon.
 
For more information contact:
 
Maj. Jeff Julum
 (503) 584-3885
(503) 551-8323 Cell