U.S. Marine firefighters arrived on scene to support firefighting efforts for the Slink Fire near Coleville, California, September 4.

The Marines, Crash Fire Rescue personnel with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, joined the interagency firefighting force that has been battling the Slink Fire since it started August 29.

“The Interagency requested support from the DoD for Crash Fire Rescue because of the increased number of aircraft supporting the fire moving toward the base,” said Col. Daniel Wittnam, commanding officer, MCMWTC.

The Interagency includes firefighters from multiple state fire departments, the U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management, with whom Marines from MCMWTC are integrated to battle the over 16,000 acre fire that is threatening training areas on the base that are important for Marine Corps Service Level Training.

Anderson said that assisting all the agencies involved, the aircrews from around the country, and to help the efforts to get the Slink Fire contained and extinguished was a satisfying mission.

The Crash Fire Rescue detachment is integrated with the Aviation Operations Element of the Interagency responding to the Slink Fire operating in an improvised airfield, utilizing two P-19R firetrucks operated by eight Marines.

“We’re supporting their landing zone… operations in and out,” said Anderson. “That… involves having a crew on standby in case there’s any type of incident, fuel spill, hard landing, medical incident that happens within this LZ that we can respond to immediately.”

The training areas threatened by the Slink Fire are used for multiple mountaineering and cold weather warfare focused courses for Marines, sailors and other U.S. and partner nation service members.

The primary exercise conducted on the MWTC is Mountain Exercise, a part of a larger exercise facilitated by Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command out of Twentynine Palms, California called Service Level Training Exercise.

The exercise includes multiple events including Integrated Training Exercise – and the newest addition – Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force Warfighting Exercise. MWX is a modernized, force-on-force event that utilizes the vast Mojave Desert training grounds at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.

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    1. Semper Fi to my Brothers and Sisters in the Corps.Without Marines this World would really be a shit show.Antonio Garcia USMC🇺🇸

  1. Way to Go CFR. That was my MOS for when i was in the Corps. Did 4 Cax out of the stumps when I was in. And then when I was in the Army National Guard i did 4 deployments on the on half at Ft. Irwin.

    1. I was in the crash crew from 62-66.It sure looks like they came a long way.No mb-1 or mb-5 all new equipment.but they dont have the old cops like s,sgt mayo or wild bill kane to lead them.

  2. Thank you Marine Firefighters !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I used to fly out of FHL (army ) and Moffett NAS (navy) and was always always happy to see station firefighters !!!

  3. Hello my brothers,

    Good job for stepping up to the HOT SPOT that we used to man at MCAS (beautiful) Beaufort (by the sea) in South Carolina. Truth be told, in 1978, when the P1 was introduced to our Crash Crew unit, we thought it was the bomb over the MB 1 & MB5’s we were driving. We were pigs in heaven as Crew Chiefs in Beaufort driving this powerful piece of fire fighting equipment and we were warned to take good care of it and to not roll it or throw a man off the back.

    Getting drive time out on the taxiways, and runways to get our licenses was fun. Getting under her learning how to operate it manually in the event hydraulic line failure occurred was such a trip.

    And seeing a P19 shocks me to my core wondering what features it must hold over our P1.

    Again, good job Marines! We reached out to the Beaufort community for certain off base incidents from time to time, and our P1 was the star of the show to our local onlookers.

    I miss those good old day’s, as most probably do who sat on those 4 hour hot spot shifts in the freezing ass cold in those MB1’s that didn’t have heat.

    I experienced a many Hot Spot Olympics to keep my crew entertained as the aircraft would fly by, waiving at us.

    But we did have to respond to 2 Harrier crashes from that darn Cherry Point squadron in a 3 week period.

    And my Meritorious Mast for my JOB was a great way to have met the Commandant, since Beaufort was the easy fly in point to get over to P. I., which he did often.

    Monitoring the flight line all the time, we got to salute his coming and going all the time.

    Thanks for being there once again, Marines!!

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