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Airmen answer the call, literally

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Airmen from the 234th Intelligence Squadron, field questions from the media pool during a National Guard Bureau press conference, on September 03, 2020, at the California Military Department Headquarters in Sacramento, California. The airmen spoke on performing damage assessments and how predictive analysis is used by multiple agencies battling California's wildfires.

SACRAMENTO, calif. --

Two airmen from the 234th Intelligence Squadron "answered the call" when they were asked to participate in a National Guard Bureau press conference regarding California’s battle against wildfires.

2nd lt. James Brown and Master Sgt. Paul Brady, intelligence analysts with the California Air National Guard’s 195th Wing, discussed the use of intelligence in the battle against California’s wildfires and answered questions from a media pool during the press conference.

"We just got off a conference call with various media to put out to the general public what we do,.” said Brady. "A lot of people are not privy to what we do and we want them to know that we do it for the safety of the individuals of the state.”

The use of intelligence has proven to be extremely helpful in the battle to combat wildfires. Through meticulous comparisons of the live feed to maps, satellite imagery and Google Earth airmen of the 195th Wing are able to report damage up the chain of command providing an almost instantaneous report to those in need of the critical information. Information is compiled to provide predictive analysis giving those battling the fires insight to prepare contingency plans and to minimize damage.

"We were able to get on a call with General Hokanson, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and express to the media the response that the California National Guard has provided to Cal Fire and other agencies,” said Brown. "I believe that the view of the mission of the National Guard is often misunderstood. We are military, but we are also neighbors living in the communities that we are serving in. We are California citizens bringing a unique capability to the state to serve them."

Although the intelligence mission often goes unseen, domestic operations, such as wildfire fighting efforts, food bank support, search and rescue operations and others provides a widely viewed opportunity for airmen to use their skills and save lives and property.