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USNORTHCOM supports western wildfires with MAFFS-capable C-130s
Release No: UNRELEASED July 28, 2014
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –
U.S. Northern Command is mobilizing a Defense Coordinating Officer and Defense Coordinating Element to the Regional Response Coordination Center at the Federal Emergency Management’s Region X headquarters in response to a request for assistance for wildland firefighting support.
Additionally, two Department of Defense C-130 aircraft equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems and under the command and control of USNORTHCOM are assisting with wildfire suppression efforts in the Northwest, Great Basin, and elsewhere in the western U.S. at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
Since July 20 of this year, DoD aircraft have conducted 41 air drops and discharged more than 78,900 gallons of retardant.
Specific information by fire within the last 24 hours is below:
Mack, Idaho-- Eight (8) air drops – Approximately 20,300 gallons of retardant
Kitten, Ore. -- Eight (8) air drops -- Approximately 17,300 gallons of retardant
The supporting unit flying the MAFFS mission is the 153rd Airlift Wing of the Wyoming Air National Guard located in Cheyenne, Wyo.
USNORTHCOM provides DOD capabilities for disaster response operations in support of the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, NIFC, and state and local officials.
The command also continues to closely monitor wildfires to anticipate additional requests for DoD 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 C-130 aircraft U.S. Forest Service supplied MAFFS units. Aircrews, maintenance crews and support personnel undergo special NIFC training and certification to perform these missions each year.
DCOs act as liaison between the NIFC and USNORTHCOM, relaying capabilities available to NIFC and coordinating movement of active-duty personnel and equipment to assist should the need arise. DCEs act as administrative support to the DCO.
U.S. Northern Command, established in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, is responsible for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities.