July 7, 2008 —
CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif. – Aircraft from the 302nd Air Expeditionary Group continue fire retardant reload operations here for C-130 aircraft equipped with modular airborne fire fighting systems battling the Southern California wildfires.
With the cooperation of the 146th Airlift Wing, the reload operation was set up here Saturday by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to get the MAFFS-equipped C-130s to the Southern California fires—Gap and Piute—faster from here, allowing twice the retardant dropped in nearly half the time each day, according to CAL FIRE.
Today, the MAFFS C-130s will help battle the West Basin Fire in Big Sur and the American River Fire in Butte County.
The bulk of the MAFFS operation and support is still at McClellan Air Park, where the
C-130s launch their first mission of the day, drop their first load, then fly here to reload, refuel and continue subsequent air drops before returning to McClellan for the day.
Yesterday, the 302nd flew 29 MAFFS air-drop missions and have conducted more than 740 air drops with greater than 850,000 gallons of fire retardant dropped since operations began June 26.
Media interested in covering the story and interviewing air and ground maintenance crew should contact Capt. Lisa Citino at 253-905-2868. A CAL FIRE representative will also be available to answer questions on the MAFFS operations.
To learn more about the 302nd Air Expeditionary Group's firefighting operations supporting the state of California, please go to the U.S. Northern Command website on Wildland Fire Fighting Operations at http://www.northcom.mil/News/2008/Wildfire/index.html.