California Governor Newsom Deploys National Guard to Assist Texas Wildfire Efforts with MAFFS

By: Stuart Applebaum

In a move to aid in combating the devastating wildfires engulfing Texas, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the activation of California’s National Guard. Specifically, the California National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing, stationed in the Channel Islands near Oxnard, along with C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and crews, are being deployed to Texas.

Governor Newsom emphasized the solidarity among Americans during times of crisis, stating, “California has built a nation-leading firefighting fleet, and we are proud to assist Texas as it battles the largest wildfire in its history.”

Maj. Gen. Matthew P. Beavers, Adjutant General of the California National Guard, expressed readiness and commitment to the mission, highlighting the preparedness of the 146th Airlift Wing and its personnel to support both state and federal efforts in responding to the natural disaster in Texas.

The 146th Airlift Wing will provide aircraft for wildland firefighting missions in the Abilene area of Texas from March 4th to 18th. These efforts will be conducted in collaboration with the Texas Forestry Service to address wildfires in the Panhandle region. The operations will be based out of Dyess Air Force Base for the duration of the mission.

The 146th Airlift Wing, affectionately known as the “Hollywood Guard,” boasts advanced capabilities, including the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) supplied by the U.S. Forest Service. This system, integrated into the aircraft, aids in efficiently extinguishing fires across vast forested areas from the air, serving as a vital emergency resource alongside civilian air tanker fleets deployed nationwide.

This deployment underscores California’s ongoing commitment to interstate cooperation during emergencies. In recent years, California has provided aid to states facing various disasters, including hurricanes and wildfires. From sending firefighting resources to Florida and Georgia during Hurricane Idalia to assisting in Oregon’s response to the Bootleg Fire, California has consistently demonstrated its readiness to support fellow states in times of need.

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