Rochester National Guard soldiers returning from California wildfires

    New York Army National Guard Soldiers Pvt. Toby Smith (left), Pfc. Timothy Strong (middle) and Sgt. Edward Joy (right) move a Shadow RQ-7 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to its launcher at Wheeler Sack Airfield on Fort Drum, N.Y., April 15, 2011. The unit is based at the Rochester Flight Facility and returned from assisting the California National Guard with the Camp Fire wildfires Nov. 21, 2018

    Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Seven soldiers with the New York Army National Guard will be returning home to Rochester in time for Thanksgiving.

    The soldiers have been in California helping the California National Guard with firefighting efforts out west. They are assigned to Detachment 1 of Company D of the 152nd Brigade Engineer Battalion,

    The Rochester-based soldiers have been operating two Army RQ-7 reconnaissance drones and conducting surveillance flights over the Camp Fire in northern California. The RQ-7 drones, also known as Shadow drones, are 11-foot long remotely controlled aircraft with a 14-foot wingspan.

    The group wrapped up its mission on Tuesday.

    The unit is based at the Army National Guard flight facility at the Rochester International Airport.

    Six New York Air National Guardsman were also sent out in case of any needed repairs to the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft.

    The group of airmen from the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse will remain in California until the end of their mission on November 25.

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