SACRAMENTO, Calif. – At the request of the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection (CALFIRE), the California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing activated two C-130J Hercules aircraft today tosupport firefighting efforts across the state. Each aircraft is equipped with the Modular Airborne FireFighting Systems (MAFFS), which can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than fiveseconds. The CAL FIRE request came late this morning through the California Governor’s Office of EmergencyServices (Cal OES).
"The airtankers of the 146th Airlift Wing are a proven asset in California’s fight against wildfires," said Maj.Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General for the California National Guard. “Their capacity to drop thousandsof gallons of water and retardant in one pass can be a game changer in the effort to keep these fires incheck.”
The state-of the-art C130J aircraft are based at Channel Islands Air National Guard Base and are expected tobe put to use this evening by CAL FIRE to combat San Bernardino-area wildfires. The MAFFS-equippedairtankers can discharge their 3,000 gallons of water or retardant over an area one-quarter of a mile long by60 feet wide and can refill in less than 12 minutes.
“California is fortunate to have such a valuable asset at the ready for us to call up when needed in order toaugment our own fleet of over 50 aerial firefighting resources,” said Chief Dave Teter, CAL FIRE’s deputydirector of fire protection. “We have a long-standing and well-exercised relationship with our CaliforniaNational Guard partners and we appreciate their support during periods of high fire activity.”
In addition to the two C130J airtankers, the Cal Guard has deployed several hundred soldiers to serve ashand crews to support CAL FIRE at the firelines in Monterey County. Cal Guard helicopters are alsoperforming medical evacuation operations at wildfires across the state.
For more information about the Cal Guard's support of wildfire efforts, please contact Capt. Will Martin,public affairs officer, at 916-201-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.