8/6/2021 12:09:43 PM
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today authorized a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter and 10 Minnesota National Guard soldiers to support the State of Washington’s wildfire response. The authorization follows a request from Washington officials through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). The assistance is authorized via Emergency Executive Order 21-28.
“Wildfires continue to put our fellow Americans’ lives at risk, and when disaster hits, Minnesotans have always stepped up to help out their neighbors. We continue to battle our own wildfires here in Minnesota, but we have the resources needed to manage those, and we are in a strong position to step up and help our fellow states, ” said Governor Walz. “I am proud that the Minnesota National Guard has answered this call to serve. These soldiers’ support will be critical to ensuring the safety of Washington residents during this harrowing time.”
The Minnesota National Guard’s St. Cloud-based C Company, 2-211 General Support Aviation Battalion will send a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter with hoist plus 10 soldiers to Washington to provide medivac support to ground firefighting efforts and aerial fire suppression. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has requested Minnesota National Guard Support for a minimum of two weeks. Minnesota National Guard support could be extended, in the event current fire conditions continue. The soldiers are expected to arrive Saturday, August 7.
Last week, Governor Walz and Washington Governor Jay Inslee met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss the ongoing drought, extreme heat, and wildfires that continue to devastate states. Governor Walz asked for federal action to recognize the extreme drought conditions and increase Minnesota livestock producers’ access to lands for forage.
As a 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard, achieving the rank of Command Sergeant Major, and as the highest-ranking enlisted service member ever to serve in Congress, Governor Walz is a national leader in matters related to the National Guard. Earlier this summer, President Joe Biden appointed Governor Walz to serve as a co-chair on the Council of Governors along with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. The Council, which consists of 10 bipartisan governors, is responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Council on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.
EMAC is a mutual aid agreement between all 50 states. A requesting state asks for resources based on their needs and while any state can respond, there is no obligation to participate. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division coordinates the state’s EMAC requests.
Additional information about EMAC is available here .