Skip to Content

Press Releases

Garcia Visits California National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing Immediately Prior to Lake Fire

August 17, 2020

Congressman Mike Garcia Visits the California National Guard’s
146th Airlift Wing Immediately Prior to Lake Fire Outbreak

 On August 11, 2020, Congressman Mike Garcia had the opportunity to meet with members of the California National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing at Channel Island Air National Guard Station. This is in addition to the earlier meetings Congressman Mike Garcia has had with the U.S. Forest Service, LA County Fire Department, and CALFIRE. The 146th Airlift Wing is home to Southern California’s Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), an essential firefighting resource for California’s 25th District. Congressman Garcia was welcomed to Channel Island ANGS by Brigadier General Greg Jones, Colonel William Green, Colonel Chris Dougherty, and their support staff. 

"As the 25th District enters the heart of the envelope of fire season, it was an honor to visit and receive a briefing from the C-130 firefighting squadron of the 146th Airlift Wing at Channel Island ANGS,” said Congressman Mike Garcia. “Channel Island ANGS is a significant employer of residents of the 25th Congressional District. These service members are heroes to all of California in our fight against fires."

Congressman Mike Garcia’s visit to the 146th Airlift Wing came less than 24 hours before the outbreak of the Lake Fire in California’s 25th District. Rapidly spreading throughout 10,500 acres, the Lake Fire was combated by multiple large aerial tankers, such as the ones found at Channel Island.

"Large, fixed-winged aerial tankers are a critical and necessary piece towards ensuring the safety and security of residents throughout California’s 25th District against the increasing threat of wildfires,” Congressman Mike Garcia continued. “We need to see them in the air over the fires more frequently. In addition, California and the Federal government must invest in more fuels management programs throughout our surrounding wilderness to safeguard the area for future generations who will call our communities home."

Far too often, the Economy Act controls the deployment of MAFFS-equipped C-130s. Congressman Mike Garcia is an active proponent for the total waiver of the Economy Act deployment guidelines in the use of federal firefighting assets and believes that provisions for the deployment of MAFFS should be contained in the next National Defense Authorization Act as an official program of record.

"When seconds count, it is vital that the decision-making processes are streamlined. These fires are taking lives and burning our neighborhoods. We need to be quicker to use overwhelming force to save lives and cannot allow nearly 90-year-old legislative red-tape to hinder that progress. Federal firefighting assets should operate under the Department of Defense in direct support of civil authorities during peacetime disasters and national security emergencies. This will ensure the accelerated deployment of large, fixed-winged aerial tankers - like the C-130s out of Point Hueneme - when Californians throughout the 25th District desperately need them," concluded Congressman Mike Garcia.


Background Information and Photographs

  • Brigadier General Greg Jones is the Commander of the California Air National Guard
  • Colonel Chris Dougherty is the Commander of the of the 146th Operations Group
  • Colonel William Green is the Vice Commander of the 146th Airlift Wing

Click Here for Photos of Congressman Garcia’s Visit to the 146th Airlift Wing