U.S. Northern Command provides wildfire imagery to first responders

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | October 27, 2007

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Department of Defense aircraft are capturing high-resolution video to assist in fighting the California wildfires.

The commander of U.S. Northern Command, Gen. Gene Renuart, directed on Wednesday for specially equipped military aircraft to begin providing real-time, unclassified imagery to planners and fire leaders who are coordinating fire response efforts on the ground. The aircraft are one Navy P-3, one Air Force U-2 and one Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk. A National Guard RC-26 plane and UH-58D helicopter are also available, if needed.

The video was requested through Department of Defense channels.

DoD has a unique capability to significantly enhance first response and recovery for fire-fighting. The DoD also helps focus response efforts in the right place and the right time and, as during the current California wildfire crisis, provides real-time video to help planners and fire leaders in coordinating their response efforts.

USNORTHCOM is the joint combatant command formed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to provide homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities. The command is responsible for the operational control of all active-duty military responses to a disaster when requested by the state and ordered by the president and the secretary of defense.