146th Airlift Wing remains ready for firefighting mission
By Senior Airman Margo Allen, 146AW
/ Published April 25, 2011
PORT HUENEME, Calif. --
The 146th Airlift Wing continues to remain on duty in order to provide critical support upon tasking from the United States Forest Service. About 40 Airmen are deployed to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and have been supporting firefighting efforts there since April 17, but for the last several days there have been no taskings for aerial support.
According to officials from the United States Forest Service, tasking is determined by the Incident Commander at the fire and is based on weather, work and safety conditions. Air support is only requested when conditions are favorable for an effective retardant drop.
"Per the Texas Forest Service, improved weather conditions over the last few days has allowed their ground resources to be effective without aerial support", said Lt. Col. Tom Brown, operations commander, 302nd Air Expeditionary Group.
The 302nd AEG, comprised of the 302nd Airlift Wing from Colorado, the 146th Airlift Wing from California, the 145th Airlift Wing from North Carolina and the 153rd Airlift Wing from Wyoming, remains ready and vigilant, prepared to assist with firefighting efforts at a moment's notice when tasked by the United States Forest Service.
"Air tanker dispatch believes that the weather forecast for Sunday - Monday timeframe will require launching the air tankers to aid the ground resources," said Lt. Col. Brown.
The combined dedication of the 302nd Air Expeditionary Group continues to support the effort to control the now 549,537 acres of burning wildfires in Texas.