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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 347-98
July 06, 1998

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) SUPPORTS FLORIDA FIRE FIGHTING

Using its special airlift capabilities, the Department of Defense continues to provide significant support to Florida state authorities in their effort to contain wildfires.

During July 3-6, DoD air mobility assets flew 17 missions to airlift 258 civilian firefighters and civilian firefighting equipment, including 74 fire trucks, from California, Oregon, and South Dakota to locations in Florida.

The National Guard is currently helping to fight the fire by providing approximately 1,290 Army and 30 Air National Guard personnel, as well as 10 UH-60 helicopters, 12 bulldozers, two 5,000-gallon water trucks, one fuel tanker, one pumper tanker, numerous High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) and one fire truck.

In addition, the active duty component is providing a 12-man Defense Coordinating Element to coordinate overall military support, and 57 soldiers and 25 civilian personnel to operate DoD equipment engaged in fire fighting missions. It has also provided an HMMWV refitted to provide foam suppression and nine bulldozers with trail plows. Last week, the U.S. Marine Corps provided a 16-man team and bridging material to build a medium girder bridge to provided safer and quicker access to fire areas.

DoD will continue to respond to requests for support as identified.