Thursday, April 21, 2011

C-130s continue support of fire fighting efforts in Texas, Mexico

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- Under the command of U.S. Northern Command, six C-130 Hercules aircraft, equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems, continue to support firefighting efforts in Texas and Mexico.

Two of the C-130s, from the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., are deployed to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, at the request of the Mexican government to assist the Comisión Nacional Forestal control the wildfires in the Mexican state of Coahuila.

The other four C-130s, from the Wyoming, North Carolina and California Air National Guard, are deployed to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, to assist the National Interagency Fire Center in controlling fires in south Texas.

In support of fighting the fires in Coahuila, Department of Defense aircraft have completed 28 air drops using 63,000 gallons of retardant as of late April 19.

At the same time, DOD aircraft have made 32 air drops using 90,000 gallons of retardant while fighting the Texas fires.

"We realize that time is important to people who are facing very difficult and challenging times due to the fires, and we're committed to responding as efficiently and quickly as possible," said Col. Jack Pittman, the 302nd Air Expeditionary Group commander. "It's remarkable how all the agencies involved are able to work together in such a dynamic situation to provide timely and effective containment actions, and we're proud to support those agencies."