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Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Steven Petibone, 42nd Infantry Division
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ROUND LAKE, N.Y. -- A New York Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk based in Latham and a New York State Police Bell Huey II helicopter hover in place while doing swift load and drop water bucket training here, June 4. Both agencies trained their helicopter crews to prepare to fight wild fires at the same time and place. In addition, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers were on site to observe and help crews maneuver to water drop points, just as they would do during a forest fire. Both aircraft use a delivery system know as the Bambi Bucket. The State Police used a bucket that holds 750 pounds of water and the National Guard used a 560 gallon bucket that weighs two tons when full. Both agencies need to conduct this training annually because each bucket weighs more than two tons when loaded with water and it is necessary to practice flying with that much extra weight under the aircraft in order to fly safely in an actual emergency.

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