DVIDS – News – Nevada Air Guard activated to fight fires as fires rage in western states

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The National Interagency Fire Center has requested a C-130 aircraft and crew from the 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard, to assist with firefighting efforts in the western United States.

“This activation highlights the important role the military plays in assisting federal and civilian firefighting efforts, particularly with this need much earlier this year than in previous years to combat the increase in firefighting. fire activity in the American West, ”said Col. Jeremy Ford, 152nd Airlift Wing commander. “152nd Airlift Wing embraces this incredibly vital domestic operations mission and our ability to help save lives and property threatened by wildfires. “

The initial request lasts until July 26. The 152nd Airlift Wing activated the final firefighting season on July 29. This activation lasted until October 3, the longest firefighting activation in the unit’s history. However, even with last year’s extended firefighting season, this season’s first activation for the unit comes over a month earlier than in 2020.

The aircraft, which operates the USDA’s Modular Airborne Firefighting System, or MAFFS, will depart Reno this Saturday for its initial deployment location at CAL FIRE’s McClellan Reloading Base in Sacramento, Calif. From there, they will assist federal and private firefighting assets in the area as needed.

Given the military’s non-compete clause with private industry, contract tankers receive the first large-scale forest firefighting application. Military units have provided surge capability with MAFFS since 1974, but are only activated once contracted private assets are depleted and the Forest Service deems additional support is needed.

The 152nd Airlift Wing, known as the High Rollers, is one of four C-130 military units across the country equipped with MAFFS for large-scale forest firefighting. Unit Reno will join the 146th Airlift Wing of the Channel Islands, Calif., For firefighting efforts in the region.

Federal, state, tribal and local agency fire officials continue to prepare for wildland firefighting activity. So far, 50 large-scale wildfires have burned 543,099 acres in 11 states, the National Interagency Firefighting Center reported this week. New large fires have been reported in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho and Nevada. More than 9,180 forest firefighters and 17 type 1 and type 2 incident management teams are assigned to incidents, according to the NIFC.

So far this year, 29,362 fires have been reported, burning 1,164,555 acres across the country, the NIFC said.

MAFFS equipment, loaded into the cargo hold of a C-130 aircraft, can drop up to 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in six seconds through a nozzle on the left rear of the aircraft . The US Forest Service owns flame retardant MAFFS equipment and supplies, while each of the four military units provide C-130 aircraft, maintenance, support personnel, and flight crews to perform the missions.

The 152nd Airlift Wing recently became the country’s first “combat code” guard unit to upgrade its entire C-130 fleet with the NP-2000 propeller modification. This modification replaced the four-blade propellers with the modular eight-blade NP-2000 propellers. This increased the performance and flight capabilities of the entire fleet, adding responsiveness and throttle reliability to each of the C-130s in the 152nd Airlift Wing fleet.

“This is especially important for the extremely difficult MAFFS mission, while flying in extreme dangers, including flying low and slowly while dropping water or a retarder,” said Ford.

Date taken: 24.06.2021
Date posted: 06/24.2021 17:44
Story ID: 399688
Location: RENO, NV, United States

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