Minnesota Guardsmen to join fight against Northern Minnesota wildfires


August 16, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minnesota – The Minnesota National Guard’s St. Paul-based 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion is sending two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters with Bambi water buckets and two Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTTs) with fueling capability, and the Duluth-based 148th Fighter Wing is sending one fuel truck to Northern Minnesota to provide support to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildfire activities by providing aerial fire suppression capabilities. Sixteen soldiers and two airmen will be activated in support of this mission.

WATCH raw departure b-roll on DVIDS: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/810248/2-147-assault-helicopter-battalion-supports-northern-minnesota-wildfires-mission and YouTube: https://youtu.be/_4fdBwjp__4

Governor Tim Walz authorized the support following a request from the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center. The assistance is authorized through Emergency Executive Order 21-29.

“The Minnesota National Guard is ready to assist firefighting efforts in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, and the State Emergency Operations Center.” said Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General. “We take pride in being able to answer the call to serve our fellow Minnesotans.”

The soldiers and airmen are expected to arrive in the Warroad, Minnesota area today to provide support until fires have been contained. 

Minnesota National Guard’s St. Cloud-based C Company, 2-211 General Support Aviation Battalion sent a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter with hoist to Washington to provide medical evacuation support and aerial fire suppression to the firefighting efforts on August 7, 2021.  They were initially requested to support this fire suppression mission for two weeks, but the request for support could be extended depending on how fire containment continues.

– About the Minnesota National Guard – Established in 1856 and headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota National Guard has more than 13,000 soldiers and airmen who serve in 58 communities across the state. The citizen-soldiers and airmen of the Minnesota National Guard are ‘Always Ready’ to fight the nation’s wars, protect the country, respond to state emergencies and contribute to local communities. For more information about the Minnesota National Guard, visit https://MinnesotaNationalGuard.ng.mil