Airmen Continue Fighting Wildfires

As of July 2, Air National Guardsmen and Air Force Reservists from several states were into the seventh day of helping fight the wildfires that have ravaged large parts of northern California since late June. These airmen are operating under the auspices of the 302nd Air Expeditionary Group out of McClellan Airfield in Sacramento, flying eight C-130 transport aircraft specially equipped with 3,000-gallon tanks for dropping fire retardant on the flames. The 302nd AEG includes aircraft and personnel from ANG’s 153rd Airlift Wing in Cheyenne, Wyo., and 145th AW in Charlotte, N.C., and AFRC’s 302nd AW at Peterson AFB, Colo. Marine Corps and Navy Reserve helicopters equipped with specialized firefighting buckets are also supporting these efforts. As of midday on July 2, these assets combined had flown approximately 140 missions and dropped close to 287,000 gallons of fire retardant. The California ANG’s 146th AW from Channel Islands ANGS was also transporting personnel, cargo, and equipment in support of these activities. (McClellan report by SSgt. Luke Johnson and NGB report by MSgt. Greg Rudl)