Joint Task Force Rattlesnake: Fire training tests candidates’ endurance

By Joseph Clark
Aerotech News
January 16, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Those hoping to join the California National Guard’s frontline wildland firefighting corps had no time to admire the morning sky as it collided with the golden hills of California’s Central Coast. The state was already weeks into its fire season when nearly 120 soldiers and airmen entered a 10-day academy hoping to serve on Joint Task Force Rattlesnake, 14 full-time military crews that embed with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. …The 72 soldiers and airmen who made it through might soon be put to the test in a real-world wildfire. “We emphasize how strenuous and arduous this job is,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Brock Redding. …Formed in 2019 by the California National Guard as a response to the growing frequency and intensity of fires, supporting Cal Fire’s efforts to clear the dense, dry vegetation… Rattlesnake crews quickly proved themselves and now deploy alongside Cal Fire to the frontlines during fire season.

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