DoD Supports Firefighting Efforts in California

From a U.S. Northern Command News Release


PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Sept. 22, 2014 — Two Department of Defense C-130 aircraft equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems will be assisting with wildfire suppression efforts in California and the Northwest Geographic Area at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, Northcom officials said in a news release issued yesterday.

DoD assistance to the firefighting effort is slated to begin today, officials said.

The supporting unit flying the MAFFS mission is the 146th Airlift Wing from Channel Islands Air National Guard Station in southern California.

Upon request, DoD provides capabilities for disaster response operations in support of the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Interagency Fire Center, and state and local officials and it continues to closely monitor wildfires to anticipate requests for assistance.

Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard C-130 aircraft assigned to units in California, Colorado and Wyoming are capable of dropping fire retardant using U.S. Forest Service MAFFS units.

Aircrews, maintenance crews and support personnel undergo special NIFC training and certification to perform these missions each year.