The Israel Air Force has sent its own crews and helped coordinate the arrival of foreign aid, including the most recent the American ‘Evergreen 747 Super Tanker’, to put out the catastrophic fire blazing in the Carmel Forest

Date: 05/12/2010, 7:16 PM    

Since Thursday (Dec. 2), the Israel Air Force (IAF) has been coordinating the arrival and incorporation of foreign aerial assistance to put out the blaze engulfing the Carmel Forest near Haifa (northern Israel). Dozens of firefighting airplanes and helicopters, as well as supply planes carrying professional crews, equipment and experts from different countries have arrived in order to assist the fight against the Carmel fires.

Beginning Friday (Dec. 3) morning, comprehensive aerial firefighting has been conducted in coordination with security and rescue teams on the ground. The IAF organized an emergency operations center in order to coordinate all Israeli and foreign aerial support for fighting the fire.

Many IAF crews have been dispatched to assist firefighting teams in the disaster area. These include Command and Control teams, IDF (Zahal) soldiers and officers to take care of and assist in the situation room at Haifa University, IAF aerial coordination and guidance teams and two to four observational aircrafts to direct ground forces fighting the fire.
Over the past several days, aircrafts from Bulgaria, Greece, Britain, Turkey, Russia, France, the US, Cypress, Italy and Switzerland have landed in Israel to assist in the fight against the catastrophe. Foreign assistance aircrafts have been directed to land at IAF bases.

The American ‘Evergreen 747 Super Tanker’ fire-fighting plane has begun its mission of putting out the fire in the area of Ein-Hod, carrying 21,000 gallons of water and retardant. The planes’s crew was joined by two IAF pilots and commander of the ‘Nevatim’ air force base, Brig. Gen Eden.

Commander of IAF, Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan, welcomed foreign pilots and thanked them for their help.