The Air National Guard has begun flying an MQ-9 Reaper to assist firefighters in the fight against the massive Carr Fire, while specially equipped C-130s are airdropping retardant in the effort. The Air Force effort includes the MQ-9 and members of the California Air National Guard’s 195th Airlift Wing serving as a reconnaissance and surveillance unit, according to a Guard release. “We’re able to provide real-time eyes on in any area where the fire’s at,” said Maj. Nicholas Edwards, an intelligence analyst manager, in the release. “We can provide information to where CAL FIRE can direct resources. We give information to the decision makers in a timely manner.” The fire has spread across nearly 90,000 acres, destroying more than 500 structures, and killing at least six people, according to the Guard.
Video from the California Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing shows the unit’s specially equipped C-130 dropping retardant over the massive fire near Mendocino, Calif., over the weekend. —Brian Everstine
The Defense Department plans to spend the rest of the year putting together a legislative proposal for the establishment of a Space Force, according to a draft of a report set to be released Wednesday, Defense One reported. President Trump has called for establishment of such a military service, and the Pentagon was set to send Congress a report Wednesday on the review and recommended structure for Defense Department space components. Defense One, citing a July 30 draft of the report, said the document says officials will be spending the remainder of 2018 working on a “legislative proposal for the authorities necessary to fully establish the Space Force.” The draft also calls for establishment of US Space Command as a unified combatant command, a Space Operations Force drawn from the services and the National Guard and Reserve, and a new procurement agency for space. The Pentagon on Tuesday afternoon postponed a planned Wednesday press briefing on the report and said it was still coordinating with Congress on the report. “We are in the final coordination stages of the report to Congress on the recommended organization and management structure of space components for the Department of Defense. We will release the report when coordination is complete which we anticipate will be soon,” Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said in an emailed statement. —Steve Hirsch
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