The US Forest Service recalled two firefighting C-130s to Boise Air Terminal, Idaho, to counter the increased risk of wildfire in the western states. This brought the size of the Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped C-130 force at Boise back to four aircraft, said MAFFS officials on Aug. 3. Earlier last week, the Forest Service relieved two C-130 MAFFS airplanes from Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing to return home to Peterson AFB, Colo., due to a then more favorable outlook on the fires. However, those aircraft are now back at Boise, supplementing the two airplanes from the California Air National Guard’s 146th AW that continued the fire retardant drops over Idaho and Nevada throughout last week. As of Aug. 6, MAFFS aircraft have dropped 1,094,719 gallons of retardant in some 415 sorties since they began battling the blazes on June 25, an Air Force official told the Daily Report. (Cheyenne report by Deidre Forester)
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.