Australia’s Air Force assists with bushfire crisis

Their C-17A aircraft are transporting helicopters from New Zealand, retardant and spares from the U.S., and water tanks for an air tanker reload base

C-17a transports helicopter
C-17A Globemaster airplanes have transported three NH-90 helicopters from New Zealand.

The Royal Australian Air Force is providing assistance during the bushfire crisis on the continent in a number of ways:

  • A RAAF C-17A Globemaster collected the first 20-tonne load of fire retardant powder from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and delivered it to RAAF Base Richmond on January 18. It will be used to mix retardant for air tankers to slow the spread of bushfires in Australia in support of state and federal emergency authorities. A second load of retardant arrived on January 19 on an RAAF KC-30A multi-role tanker transport. A total of 117 tonnes will be delivered over four loads over the coming week as part of Operation Bushfire Assist.
  • C-17A Globemaster airplanes have transported NH-90 helicopters from New Zealand, water purification and desalination systems, and 80,000-liter and 40,000-liter water tanks for the Very Large Air Tanker reloading base. They also transported spares for the three DC-10 Very Large Air Tankers, including an engine, auxiliary power unit, and numerous tires.
  • Staged crash-rescue fire engines at helibases to support hot refueling.
  • Installed and staffed transportable air traffic control towers.
  • C-27J Spartan aircraft assisted in the evacuation of personnel from Mallacoota.
  • P-8A Poseidons conducted reconnaissance flights over fire-affected areas.
Retardant mix
Retardant mix the RAAF hauled from the U.S. to Australia.
RAAF Retardant air tanker
United States Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force personnel push a pallet of fire retardant up the ramp of an Australian C-17 Globemaster at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Photo courtesy of the United States Air Force.
C-17A water tanks
A C-17A Globemaster transported two water tanks to support a reloading base for Very Large Air Tankers.
Australia transportable Air Traffic Control tower
Transportable Air Traffic Control tower

The videos below illustrate some of the roles of the Royal Australian Air Force during the bushfire crisis.

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One thought on “Australia’s Air Force assists with bushfire crisis”

  1. this maybe a silly question,but have he us airforce C130 maafs systems or aircraft/pilots not been considered to help? and if not,any reason why?

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