WTF? Where’s the fire?

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Nordheim
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

With a newly built burn pit, fire protection personnel can be prepared to protect Department of Defense assets by conducting live-fire exercises. These exercises allow Tyndall firefighters to train and prepare for aircraft fire emergencies in a safe and controlled environment.

As a central hub for training and exercises year-round, Tyndall fire protection must be prepared for any possible emergencies or mishaps. To ensure the safety of all personnel, fire protection must stay trained and vigilant.

“Our burn pit is different from Silver Flag’s in that we use propane to fuel the burns,” said Tech. Sgt. Joshua McGath, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of fire protection. “This allows for more control over the fire and a lesser impact on the environment.”

As the host to frequent Weapons System Evaluation Programs, Checkered Flag and an incoming F-35A Lightning II mission, fire protection has a critical supporting role in Tyndall’s mission. Utilizing this new facility provides fire personnel a state of the art environment to train in.

“The new capabilities of the burn pit include a touch screen control panel that allows instructors to easily control all 49 burners and curtail the burns to specific training,” said McGath. “In addition to allowing for more burns, it has a more modern control center allowing for better control of the fire’s behavior. Lastly, there are multiple safety features put in place to ensure firefighter safety.”

To maintain readiness, at least four burns are held yearly.

“It is important to practice aircraft fires since it is not a common scenario,” said McGath. “Being able to run multiple scenarios allows us to build skills, determine best practices and gain confidence that will allow us to better save lives and property in case an emergency does happen.”