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Northern Command Reports on Firefighting Efforts

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2003 – As Defense Department aircraft and crews continue their efforts in helping to battle the California wildfires, U.S. Northern Command officials reported today that in 48 missions through Oct. 29, the aircraft had dispersed 129,600 gallons of fire retardant.

C-130s from Air National Guard wings in California, North Carolina and Wyoming and an Air Force Reserve wing in Colorado - all equipped with the Mobile Air Firefighting System - are participating. Helicopters equipped with fire-supression buckets from a Marine base in California also are supporting the effort.

DoD announced today that it will send a 560-member "firefighting battalion" to join the effort on or about Nov. 3.

(Compiled from a U.S. Northern Command news release.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageA MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) equipped, C-130E aircraft from the 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, is being reloaded with Phoschek fire retardant. The aircraft is currently fighting the Simi Fire, one of many devastating Southern California. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Dennis W. Goff.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAs smoke turns day into night, a MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) equipped, C-130E aircraft from the 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, is reloaded with Phoschek fire retardant. The aircraft is currently fighting the Simi Fire, one of many devastating Southern California. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Dennis W. Goff  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageChief Master Sgt Debbie Thogersen, MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) NCOIC, communicates with and keeps track of the eight C-130 aircraft making fire retardant drops, while deployed to Channel Islands Air National Guard Station during the recent fire storms devestating Southern California, Oct. 28, 2003. U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt Dennis W. Goff.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageC-130E aircrew members discuss the attack routes for making fire retardant drops on the Simi Fire in Southern Calif., one of the many catastrophic fires burning in the state, Oct. 28, 2003. U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt Dennis W. Goff.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageA Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System equipped C-130E aircraft from the 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, makes a Phoschek fire retardant drop on the Simi Fire in Southern California, Oct. 28, 2003. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Koenig.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageA C-130 with the 302nd Airlift Wing from Petersen Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., flies into the smoke to drop fire retardant on the flames in Simi Valley, Calif., Oct. 29, 2003. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Francisco Govea II.  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageIn the Scripps Ranch Area of San Diego an HC-85 uses a "Bambi" bucket to conduct water drops on brushfires in southern Calif., Oct. 29, 2003. The brushfires have caused extensive damage throughout, burning more than 500,000 acres. Utility Helicopter-Three Hotel (UH-3H) "Sea King" Helicopter assigned to the Golden Gators of Reserve Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eight Five (HC-85) is assisting in the firefighting efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class (AW/SW) Michael J. Pusnik, Jr.  
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