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Watch a C-130 Get Up Close And Personal With California's Massive Wildfire
Since the Carr Fire was first reported to authorities on July 23, its flames have lapped across nearly 100,000 acres of California, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents and threatening hundreds of buildings. Two firefighters, along with several civilians, have already lost their lives; thus far, the Carr Fire is only 20% contained.
That's where the California National Guard comes in. The Cal Guard currently has some 800 soldiers and airmen hard at work backing up local authorities in their war against the flames.
Service members from the Cal Guard are currently a sort of aerial war against the wildfire.
The aircraft are loosing off payloads of fire retardant from C-130 Hercules aircraft, rather than the bombs it usually hauls in the skies above Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the Army, the Cal Guard has deployed CH-47 Chinooks and HH-60 Black Hawks with the Air National Guard's 195th Airlift Wing to serve as eyes in the sky.
California National Guard/Senior Airman Crystal HousmanA UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter assigned to the California Army National Guard takes off from Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, California, on Saturday morning, July 28, 2018, to support firefighting efforts in Northern California. The helicopter is painted with pink markings and numbers to increase its visibility in smoky conditions upon arrival to the fire areas. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Crystal Housman)
The aircrews are tasked with providing state authorities with real-time intelligence to state and local emergency managers; the effort includes at least one MQ-9 reaper drone whose photographs of the fire are distributed to firefighters on the ground daily.
California National Guard/Staff Sgt. Edward SiguenzaU.S. Air Force Maj. Nicholas Edwards, an intelligence analyst manager with the California Air National Guard’s 195th Air Base Wing, updates leaders from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) on the Carr Fire in Shasta County, California. Edwards leads a team that gives accurate information CAL FIRE uses to battle the Carr Fire that intensified to nearly 90,000 burned acres in about a week. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza)
"They bring to the table a key part of our mission," CAL FIRE's Capt. Robert DeCamp said in an Army statement. "This is one fire that's very unpredictable, but we can track it with the capabilities the Guard provides us."
Elsewhere, the 270th and 870th Military Police units are working around the clock to keep civilians away from the Carr Fire and assist local law enforcement in evacuations.
California National Guard/Staff Sgt. Edward SiguenzaSgt. Jesus Valencia and Spc. Cameron Hodges of the California Army National Guard’s 270th Military Police Company, 185th Military Police Battalion, 49th Military Police Brigade, secure a checkpoint July 29 at the Keswick Dam in Redding, California, shortly after the Carr Fire passed through the area. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza)
According to the Army, the 578th Engineer Battalion activated a company solely to help haul bulldozers and other heavy equipment into the state to help stop the spread of the flames.
California National Guard/Staff Sgt. Edward SiguenzaU.S. Army Spc. Kia Xiong, front, of the California Army National Guard’s Bravo Company, 126th Aviation Battalion, guides a 2,000-gallon water bucket into a CH-47 Chinook July 30 at the Shasta District Fairgrounds, Anderson, California, where Cal Guard’s land and air assets were supporting emergency services during the treacherous Carr Fire. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza)
"We're so glad the military's here. We're comfortable knowing our homes and businesses are safe," one California evacuee told the Army as he was fleeing the coming flames. "All I know is this fire is too big to control. Everyone's doing what they can."
Finally, more than 500 California National Guardsmen from the 143rd Infantry Regiment are preparing to deploy behind the local firefighters on the front lines of the blaze.
California National Guard/Staff Sgt. Edward SiguenzaCalifornia Army National Guardsmen from Bravo Company, 126th Aviation Battalion, work with Warren Giacomni of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to secure a 2,000-gallon water bucket July 29 at the Shasta District Fairgrounds. Cal Guard’s air assets are on mission alert to fight the Carr Fire from above. Shown: U.S. Army Spc. Kia Xiong, Sgt. 1st Class Douglas King, Spc. Gentry So’oalo, Capt. Ben Bowman and Giacomni. The team loaded the bucket onto their CH047 Chinook. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza)
The infantry and artillerymen will "work areas already burned by the Carr Fire, extinguishing hot spots to prevent fire flare-ups," according to Army.
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.
The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.
NAS Pensacola shooter railed against the US and quoted Osama bin Laden online hours before the attack
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that monitors online extremism.
Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have began firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.
NAS Pensacola shooter reportedly hosted a 'dinner party' to watch mass shooting videos the week before the attack
The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the week before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.