Hawaii Army National Guard, from Hurricanes to Fires
August 17, 2007
Approximately one dozen Hawaii Army National Guard Soldiers quickly shifted their focus from Hurricane preparedness to fire suppression over the last two days after Hurricane Flossie quietly passed by and a wildfire raged in Waialua, Hawaii.
The wildfire, which is now 80% contained according to State Civil Defense officials, had been burning non stop since Sunday.
"We rapidly responded and put in some long hours which resulted in dropping almost half a million gallons of water, which is about 4.02 million pounds, in about a 30-hour period", said Col. Stephen F. Logan, state army aviation officer.
Tuesday, the Hawaii Army National Guard received the call for support to fight the wildfire. That same day, two HIARNG CH-47 Chinooks took to the skies dropping 474,000 gallons of water in two days, performing more than 230 water drops.
"To rapidly transition to a fire fighting mission from a hurricane mission is a testament to the air crew proficiency level and the versatility of their leadership," said Col. Logan. They did it all safely without a single mishap or injury, and still managed to successfully perform their day-to-day mission, he added.