More Aircraft Arrive to Combat Western Wildfires
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 1, 2012 Eight Department of Defense C-130 aircraft equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems now are assisting in multi-agency efforts to control wildfires in Colorado and other western states, according to a U.S. Northern Command news release update issued today.
A Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130 aircraft from the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing based at Channel Islands, arrives at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., June 30, 2012. The 146th’s C-130 is one of four MAFFS-equipped aircraft joining four other military aircraft already operating out of Peterson to conduct wildfire suppression missions in Colorado and other western states. The eight aircraft constitute the entire U.S. military MAFFS-equipped fleet. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Four of these MAFFS-equipped aircraft arrived yesterday at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., joining four other aircraft there that have been flying wildfire suppression missions in the Rocky Mountain region, the Northcom release said.
The National Interagency Fire Center based in Boise, Idaho, requested the aircraft support from the Defense Department, according to the release.
The eight aircraft are under Northcom command and control and all, at present, are being based at Peterson, which is in Colorado Springs, according to the release.
Northcom, based at Peterson, partners with other agencies to conduct homeland defense, civil support and security cooperation to defend and secure the United States and its interests.
Military units now supporting C-130 aircraft wildfire suppression missions flown from Peterson are: the Air Force Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing, based at Peterson; the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing, from Cheyenne; the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th Airlift Wing, from Charlotte; and the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing, from Channel Islands.
As of early today, DOD aircraft have conducted 73 air drops and discharged more than 190,000 gallons of flame retardant during wildfire suppression missions in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, the Northcom release said.