FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012
||Brian R. Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
919-857-4828 or 919-218-9728
Forest Service conducting air operations training June 17-22
DuPont Recreational State Forest is site of joint exercise
RALEIGH — The N.C. Forest Service and the U.S. Forest Service will conduct a joint air operations training exercise in DuPont Recreational State Forest June 17-22.
The training is for both ground and air personnel to ensure there is a pool of qualified individuals for air operations during actual incidents.
Residents and visitors to the forest should be aware that four helicopters will be performing a variety of tasks, including hauling cargo and personnel and conducting water drops. Visitors to the forest should refrain from approaching the helicopters and heed the instructions of Forest Service staff and other officials for their own safety.
“Training of this type is important because it reinforces the cooperative efforts between the N.C. Forest Service and the U.S. Forest Service,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Over the last few years, the cooperative use of aviation assets has proven valuable in efforts to battle many large wildfires.
“DuPont is an ideal location for this training because the mountainous terrain provides its own set of challenges for both air and ground crews that need to experience battling wildfires in the western part of the state,” Troxler said. “In addition, DuPont has an available airfield, which makes for a good training platform.”
Support for the exercise will include the N.C. Interagency Coordination Center, U.S. Forest Service aviation support trailer and the N.C. Forest Service’s Young Offenders Forest Conservation Program, known as BRIDGE.
Personnel and equipment will arrive Sunday at 5 p.m. Setup and training will begin Monday at 7 a.m. and will end Friday at 11:30 a.m.