C-130Js of the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, Germany, delivered tons of airborne fire retardant to Israel to battle the deadly wildfires that broke out last week in northern Israel’s Carmel Mountains, ravaging the region surrounding Haifa. Additionally, Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson AFB, Colo., deployed two of its C-130s equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System to support the firefighting efforts. The unit dispatched the aircraft and nearly 50 Reservists on Dec. 4 within 24 hours of the call, marking the fastest response time in the 38-year history of MAFFS, according to AFRC officials. Thanks to multinational assistance, Israeli officials declared the fires under control on Dec. 5. They were the worst wildfires in Israel’s history, displacing nearly 17,000 people and killing more than 40. (Peterson release) (Ramstein report by TSgt. Markus Maier)
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.