MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii- Firefighters of the Hawaii Army National Guard 297th Engineer Detachment, 103rd Brigade joined together with the Air National Guard 624th Civil Engineer Squadron and the active-duty Marine Corps stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay on Feb 11, 2023, to conduct Aircraft Recue Firefighting Rescue, Tech, and Rope Rescue Training.
Today’s training was a familiarization for the Engineer Fire and Emergency Services Team (297th ENG-Det) to be acquainted with firefighting operations during an integration between the Marine Corps, Air Force and Army ensemble. An annual live fire training should be conducted annually per regulations set by the National Fire Protection Association.
“This is the first joint firefighting exercise between the Army, Air Force, and the Marine Corps Firefighting forces,” said Sgt. John Segawa from the 297th ENG-Det.
The training simulated a small frame, C-26 aircraft, blazing on fire. The fire was a controlled propane burn maintained by a team of senior firefighters. Temperatures in the aircraft reached upwards to 300 degrees, and firefighters were taught different techniques to put out the blaze.
“We’ve shared different tactics and techniques with our Air Force and Marine Corp counterparts, while following the same NFPA guidelines and standards. Marines preferred to use the “Z” nozzle technique, while the Army used the “O” technique when cooling down an aircraft (as MET-TC dictates),” said Segawa.
The Hawaii Army National Guard are a special entity where part-time soldiers are normally looked at as having half the training, the firefighters of the 297th ENG-Det are also fight fires for their full-time jobs. Being able to do this on a full-time basis gives them opportunities to maintain their certifications and remain proficient.
Segawa states, “Most of our firefighters also serve in the city and county and Federal firefighting departments. Their knowledge and certifications from their civilian careers, further enables the proficiencies within the Army National Guard Firefighting team.”
Sgt. Segawa recently reclassed from a 35F, Intel Analyst, to pursuit his dreams of being a firefighter and follow his family’s legacy of firefighters. He states that being with the team and training as a firefighter is much more rewarding than sitting at a desk. “The cohesiveness and collaborative atmosphere felt is unmatched once we suite up and perform fire emergency services training with the team,” said Seagawa.