NY Army National Guard Helicopters conducting water bucket training over Mohawk River on Wednesday, June 6

Training will take place between I-87 and Route 9

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NY Army National Guard helicopter crews conducting water bucket training in the Hudson River in 2012.

LATHAM, NY (06/05/2018) (readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter crews will be conducting water bucket training on the Mohawk River between the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge at I-87 and the Crescent Bridge where US Route 9 crosses the river in Halfmoon on Wednesday afternoon, June 6.

The helicopter crews, which are based at the Albany International Airport in Latham, will use the buckets, known by the trademarked name of Bambi Bucket, to scoop up water from the river and drop it.

This allows them to practice the same techniques used to extinguish wildfires.

The collapsible buckets, which are suspended under the helicopters, can dump 560 gallons of water on a fire each time they are used.

The training mission will take place between 2 and 4 p.m. Twelve Soldiers will be involved in the mission.

Each year as summer begins Army National Guard helicopter crew members and maintenance personnel retrain on how to attach the buckets to Black Hawk helicopters and then practice picking up water and dumping it.

The training is necessary because a bucket full of water weights two tons and helicopter pilots need to practice flying with that additional weight hanging under their aircraft in order to fly safely in an emergency.

The New York Army National Guard employs helicopter firefighting equipment when requested by state officials. Most firefighting is conducted by New York State Police helicopters.

In May 2015 two New York Army National Guard UH-60 helicopters assisted the Department of Environmental Conservation in fighting a fire in Ulster County.