More than 440 California National Guard soldiers and airmen have been activated to help the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, fight fires throughout the state, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said today.
“There were roughly 298 people on board,” said Cmdr. Alan Harrigan, Royal Canadian Navy Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters Personnel Coordination Centre Pacific officer in charge. “[Protecteur’s] primary job is to provide fleet support, oil and ammunition for ships underway. She was actually out here providing support to the U.S. Navy for the last several weeks.”
“Do not let someone tell you that you cannot do something,” Bryant said. “When someone says I can’t do something because I’m female, it makes me try harder. You have to dig deep and find that you can do it. You cannot be the weakest one.”
The Rim Fire is not the first in which California has used remotely piloted aircraft technology to support firefighting. In 2007, NASA piloted a similar unmanned aircraft in response to a request from the California Office of Emergency Services and the National Interagency Fire Center.