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Some firefighting, a little riding on tailboards and a lot of cocktails

So I'm putting this all down now before I forget everything. I will add more to it as I have time.

For a few years out of high school I went on a little adventure.

September 11, 1989 I entered the US Air Force to become a firefighter, thanks to uncle John who had already showed me what a fun job it could be.

My grandfather gave me the oath of enlistment in San Diego before I left for Basic Military Training.

My grandfather gave me the oath of enlistment

LTC Slesnick USA (Ret)


Air Force officially begins with Basic Military Training (BMT) and it is carried out at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. It was an eight-and-a-half-week summer camp, really, it was kinda sad how little we learned or did. At that time I had a guaranteed job placement, so really I was just waiting to get to the Fire Protection School.

3723rd Basic Military Training Squadron Flight 738


U. S. Air Force Fire Protection School

3330th Technical Training Wing

Chanute Air Force Base

Rantoul, Illinois

Gentlemen, there will be no drinking at this school, not in your rooms and not off base....


My first duty station after school was the

323rd Civil Engineering Squadron, Fire Protection Branch,

Mather Air Force Base

Sacramento, California

The 323rd FTW also operated Mather AFB as the "host" wing for the installation (Strategic Air Command's 320th Bombardment Wing and the Air Force Reserve's 940th Air Refueling Group, now 940th Air Refueling Wing were "tenant" wings)

Station One - Main Crash House

Station One operated two engine companies and a rescue squad from the structural side and five CFR trucks on the crash side. It also house dispatch, chiefs, Haz-Mat, brush, tankers and support.

Engine 12

Engine 13

Rescue 4 (pictured before number change)


Oshkosh P-15 Truck, Airport Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF)


One of the largest fire engines ever made. The Oshkosh P-15, Airport Rescue Fire Fighting is a 65 ton, 8x8 vehicle that was first fielded in 1977. It carries 6,100 gallons of water and 515 gallons of foam, designed for all-weather operation at airfields for fire suppression. Two 1,250 gpm pumps and two 1,200 gpm turrets delivered the water and foam.

CRASH 7 & 8

P-2 Crash Fire Rescue Vehicle

(that is Tanker 10 next to CRASH 8)

CRASH 9 & 13

Oshkosh P-19

While driving the big P-15 was amazing, nothing was more fun than my first rig to get licensed on.

Ramp Truck

Station Two

Single engine company in base housing with an P-8 brush rig

Engine 11

(picture of back up Engine 13)

323rd in the field for Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force training

(A Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force is a rapidly deployable, specialized civil engineer unit of the United States Air Force. Prime BEEFs provide a full range of engineering support required to establish, operate, and maintain garrison and contingency airbases.)


323rd CES Cocktail Hour


323 Civil Engineering Squadron TDY

Air Base Combat Support Training


Eglin Air Force Base, Florida


After the Air Force I was a Federal Firefighter for a few years with Mather & Lemoore Federal Fire Departments

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