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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Aug. 25, 2023

OK Guard deploys helicopter and crew to battle wildfires in Louisiana

The Oklahoma National Guard deployed one CH-47 Chinook helicopter and five aircrew members to Louisiana today to battle wildfires there. 

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt authorized the 8-day deployment after the Louisiana Department of Emergency Management requested support. Louisiana declared a state of emergency after wildfires developed in Beauregard, Rapides and Grant Parishes.

The deployment will occur through the standard Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). An EMAC is a compact signed into all states' laws, that allows Governors to request personnel, equipment, and commodities from other states. All expenditures for this mission will be reimbursed by the requesting state.

The Chinook can haul buckets carrying more than 1,000 gallons of water that can be completely released within three seconds. Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen often conduct aviation wildfire fighting missions within Oklahoma and neighboring states.

The men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard are members of the communities they serve and take their role as protectors of those communities seriously. Following fires, tornadoes, droughts, flooding, pandemics and during times of civil unrest, they leave their homes and families to help others. 

Video by Sgt. Reece Heck
From Highschool Pals to Hometown Heroes: Oklahoma National Guard Soldiers Story of Friendship
Oklahoma National Guard
Aug. 24, 2023 | 1:26
In a heartwarming display of camaraderie, two Oklahoma National Guard Soldiers and McLoud, Oklahoma High School graduates have found themselves side by side once again, this time on a mission assisting the State of Texas with security along the US-Mexico border.

Sgt. Sean Simpson and Spc. Darrell Casey, both serving as cannon crewmembers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, have shared a journey that goes far beyond military service.