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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 478-00
July 28, 2000

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMITS SOLDIERS, AIRMEN, ASSETS FOR WILDFIRE SUPPRESSION, PUBLIC SAFETY

More than 300 Army, National Guard and Air Force Reserve soldiers and airmen have been mustered with aviation and ground equipment to help federal and local firefighters and law enforcement officials in several western states to suppress fires and support public safety.

The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are providing eight C-130 aircrews and aircraft, equipped with the modular airborne firefighting system. Units include the Air Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing, Cheyenne, Wyo.; 145th Airlift Wing, Charlotte, N.C.; 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands, Calif. and the Air Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, Colorado Springs, Colo.

On the ground, the Army has deployed five active duty soldiers to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho to serve as a U.S. Defense Liaison Team.

The National Guard serving on state active duty, is providing personnel and assets in four states.

The Arizona National Guard is providing two soldiers and armories for staging bases in Coconing and Yavapai counties, and six soldiers and one UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter with a 200-gal. water bucket for operations near Safford.

In Montana in Lewis and Clark counties, 113 Army and Air Guardsmen are providing law enforcement support for traffic control, aviation support and firefighters. One UH-60 and two UH-1 Huey helicopters with water buckets, three 2 1/2-ton trucks, three commercial utility cargo vehicles, two "Humvees" and one heavy duty pick-up truck

The Colorado Guard is providing 29 soldiers in Montezuma County for transportation support for firefighters and three five-ton trucks, seven 2 1/2 - ton trucks, one five-ton wrecker, and two "Humvee" ambulances.

In Utah, Guard officials are providing a barracks as a staging site for firefighters.