South Carolina National Guard helps out with Colombia fires

The South Carolina National Guard is providing assistance to Colombia, its State Partnership Program partner, as it faces dozens of wildfires. With as many as 30 active fires in and around Bogota in late January, the SC  National Guard has loaned Colombia multiple helicopter buckets, according to a report by Vertical Magazine.

“We are sorry our friends and state partners are experiencing significant fires this year impacting cities like Bogota,” said Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, adjutant general for the state. “The South Carolina National Guard stands committed to assist Colombia with helicopter buckets, which are an invaluable fire-retardant tool.”

South Carolina National Guard photo
South Carolina National Guard photo

The buckets on loan to the Republic of Colombia carry 700 gallons. The  partnership between the South Carolina National Guard and Colombia began in 2012. South Carolina ANG Lt. Col. Daniel Linkroum directs the state partnership program with Colombia.

“It was satisfying to get a call to support an immediate need and be able to respond with resources in short order,” he said. “It reaffirms the South Carolina National Guard’s commitment to our partner nation.”

South Carolina National Guard This effort has been years in the making, supported and sourced by the Civil Affairs and Humanitarian Assistance Directorate at U.S. Southern Command.

The Department of Defense State Partnership Program is a cooperative military-to-military exchange administered by the National Guard Bureau. It enables cooperation between U.S. National Guard units and foreign allies. The national program began in 1993 and has grown to include 100 different countries.