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California Air National Guard Battles Raging Wildfires

Compliments of:

From a National Guard Bureau News Release

 

The California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing is providing two specialized firefighting C-130J aircraft and crews to assist with wildfires raging across the state.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
A C-130J from the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing is prepared for possible use against wildfires. The aircraft from the California Air National Guard is equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems, or MAFFS, and can drop up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant. Courtesy photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Acting on a request for support from state emergency agencies, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. directed Army Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, California’s adjutant general, to provide the support.

Baldwin also authorized air tanker base operations to be staged out of Channel Islands Air National Guard Station here, where the C-130Js are stationed, allowing shorter response times for all civilian and military aircraft working the fires in Ventura County. The air tankers will land and reload with fire retardant at the Guard station, which is within five miles of the fires.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection members are working with Air National Guard airmen to get the tanker operations up and running.

“Wildfire season is upon us, and our Guardsmen are in the fight,” Baldwin said. “When the lives and property of our fellow Californians hang in the balance, our tireless training and coordination with [the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection] pay great dividends.”

The 146th Airlift Wing has responded to numerous state and federal firefighting missions in the past, but this is the first time the wing’s flightline will be used as a tanker base.

“California is no stranger to wildfires,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “Our well-exercised and long-standing relationship with the California National Guard allows for rapid, effective deployment of these additional resources during times of elevated fire activity.”

The California Air National Guard’s C-130J aircraft are equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System II, which is capable of dropping up to 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant. The system slides into the back of an aircraft, and water or retardant is released through a nozzle on the rear left side of the plane.

MAFFS equipment and aircraft are activated to supplement U.S. Forest Service and civilian air tankers during periods of high wildfire activity throughout the nation.

“The activation of California Air National Guard aircraft equipped with MAFFS strengthens our firefighting arsenal as needed and is a timely addition to current resources considering the extended heat and wind conditions we anticipate through the weekend,” said Mark Ghilarducci, secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, which is responsible for overall coordination of the state’s response to major emergencies.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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