JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Firefighters from the 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron had the opportunity to learn about CH-47 Chinook emergency response and egress procedures at Joint Base San Antonio-Seguin Auxiliary Airfield Sept. 5.
The training happened after the Army helicopters from the 1st Armored Division Aviation Combat Brigade out of Fort Bliss, Texas, had landed to load meals for airlift to the Beaumont, Texas, area in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
“One of the most important jobs for an Air Force firefighter is understanding how to deal with emergency situations involving aircraft on the flight line,” said Mark Ledford, JBSA Fire Chief. “Having the chance to do training in the midst of real-world contingency operations is a great opportunity to learn and grow skills they can apply to their everyday jobs.”
“Normally we just see the T-38 Talon aircraft (JBSA-Seguin),” Ledford said. “This allows us the opportunity to learn more about rotary-wing aircraft in case we have to apply those skills either on or off-base.”
The 502nd CES has been supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Incident Support Base at JBSA-Seguin in teams of four firefighter since Aug. 24.
“The firefighters are out primarily for the protection of the Army helicopters coming in to load supplies for transport areas affected by the storm,” Ledford said. “We have a landing zone that is set up and we are postured and ready to assist both the helicopters and FEMA as needed.”
Being able to aid FEMA’s disaster relief efforts is gratifying to the firefighters.
“Our thoughts are with everyone in Texas and Louisiana that have lost so much” Ledford said. “We are grateful to be able to assist in any way we can in helping the relief effort.”
During normal operations, Seguin Auxiliary Airfield is owned and operated by JBSA and serves as a flying training location for pilots from the 12th Flying Training Wing, located at JBSA-Randolph.