Helicopters assigned to the California Army National Guard take firefighters and hand crew members to a remote area of the Red Bank and South Fire and back to a helibase in Red Bluff, California, Sept. 12, 2019. Cal Guard helicopters are able to get firefighters out to the fire line within minutes whereas it would take several hours by vehicle and foot. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Tech. Sgt. Christian Jadot)
The California National Guard supports us. Due to their aircraft and their capabilities, in a short amount of time, we can move a lot of troops or passengers.
This aircraft behind me just got done moving 75 firefighters on and off of the line up there. Yesterday, we moved between us 295 personnel.
Some of the challenges for this fire is just the remote location of it and we can just assist them by getting them in there much quicker and faster into places where they need to be.
Flight engineers, pretty much, we like to call ourselves a subject matter expert. Our role is to make sure the pilots are not exceeding any limitations. When I was a little kid, I was able to see a Chinook, or a helicopter fly, and went all, it’d be pretty cool to be one of those guys up there. Now I’m the guy, so it’s kinda bringing your community in with your local military, and being to keep our state safe.