Montana National Guard Deploys to Missoula, First Fire Related Deployment in 2013
About 110 Montana National Guard soldiers are being deployed to help firefighting efforts in western Montana. This is the first fire related deployment of 2013.
"Montana National Guard soldiers will be coming into the Missoula region to do two different missions," said Montana National Guard Communication's Officer Major Tim Crowe. "One is the initial attack support mission with our aviation module. We will also be manning 18 preexisting checkpoints from the civil authorities and then allowing them to release and do their primary duties."
The deployment comes as an order from Governor Steve Bullock and the two teams that will be deployed are UH 60 Blackhawk helicopter teams, which will be used in the initial attack on the Lolo Complex Fire.
The National Guard teams are on 15 day orders, and will arrive on Thursday, August 22. Although this will be the first fire related deployment this year, Crowe says that National Guard has been sent to many fires in the past.
"We've responded, in many of the years previous to this, to wildfires across the state. It's one of our main missions inside of our state mission construct, to support civilians and Montanans across the state."