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Fleet Leaving For 400-Day Deployment
Called into duty for a 400-day deployment, all 12 of the Oregon National Guard Black Hawk medevac helicopters and 135 pilots, crew chiefs, maintenance and support staff are heading to Oklahoma for training and then on to Iraq.
This isn't the first deployment of the Oregon National Guard's helos and staff to the Mideast, but it is the first time the entire fleet has been called into duty - leaving only four pilots and one borrowed helicopter to cover the state's emergency Guard calls.
"I do not know who will fill the void," said mountain rescuer Michael Leming. "Even in perfect conditions it can take hours and hours to get people off the mountain. The reality is people are going to get seriously hurt, and some are not going to make it."