Airmen support firefighting efforts in California

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Two 146th Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems, or MAFFS, will be assisting with wildfire suppression efforts in California and the Northwest at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, U.S. Northern Command officials said in a news release issued Sept. 22.

DOD assistance to the firefighting effort is slated to begin Sept. 23, officials said.

The 146th AW is from Channel Islands Air National Guard Station in southern California.

Upon request, service members will provide 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. They will closely monitor wildfires to anticipate requests for assistance.

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 NIFC training and certification to perform these missions each year.

(Information courtesy of a NORTHCOM news release)