Two Air Force C-130s from the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, Germany, have delivered the first loads of US firefighting equipment to Russia. The US is providing about $4.5 million of gear to help the Russians battle huge raging wildfires around Moscow, including fires that were threatening a nuclear research facility in Sarov. The two C-130s touched down at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on Aug. 14 (Moscow time). A charter flight followed with gear supplied by the State of California. The gear includes water tanks, pumps, hand tools, fire protective clothing, and medical kits. Two additional C-130 flights were planned, along with another charter flight, according to US officials. (Ramstein photo caption by MSgt. Keith Houin) (See also Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report, and Times of Malta report.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.