Northcom Provides Update on Firefighting Effort
From a U.S. Northern Command News Release
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Aug. 13, 2014 U.S. Northern Command officials today provided updated facts and figures on the Defense Department’s assistance to wildfire-suppression efforts in the West.
Two DoD C-130 aircraft equipped with the U.S. Forest Service’s Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems and under Northcom’s command are assisting with the efforts at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
Since July 20, DoD aircraft have conducted 131 airdrops and discharged more than 244,100 gallons of fire retardant on the fires, officials said.
Within the last 24 hours, crews conducted seven airdrops over fires in Idaho: two airdrops at the Arrow fire, discharging about 3,000 gallons of retardant, and five at the Koke fire, discharging about 11,500 gallons of retardant.
The Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing based in Cheyenne is flying the MAFFS mission.
Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard C-130 aircraft assigned to units in California, Colorado, North Carolina and Wyoming are capable of dropping fire retardant using U.S. Forest Service MAFFS units. Aircrews, maintenance crews and support personnel undergo special National Interagency Fire Center training and certification to perform these missions, Northcom officials said.
U.S. Northern Command, established in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, is responsible for homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities.