Time to Crank Up Aerial Firefighters: Airmen of Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson AFB, Colo., have to recertify their ability to conduct modular airborne fire fighting system missions to suppress wild fires each year—and the season is coming up. The AFRC crews only get the call if all civilian aircraft are exhausted, but they have to remain sharp. The AFRC aircrews fly eight sorties, which include 16 dry passes over drop areas and eight wet passes, said Maj. Mark Steward, the 302nd chief of safety. Members of the units are very familiar with the season, having fought numerous fires since taking over the Reserve portion of the MAFFS mission in 1993.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.