Accession Number:



Special Wildland Firefighting Tactics (SWiFT): How a Conventional Military Approach Can Bring an Unconventional End to Destructive Wildfires

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This monograph argues that the US Air Force USAF can utilize fighterbomber aircraft capabilities and Air National Guard ANG infrastructure to help extinguish deadly US wildland fires while saving billions of dollars typically lost in the destruction. Explosive weapons technology and sonic booms create overpressure waves of air that blow-out fires much like a birthday candle. These concepts are proved using both anecdotal and scientific evidence from the US, Russia, and Sweden. The USAF already uses both ANG and reserve Modular Airborne Firefighting System MAFFS equipped C-130s to help extinguish wildfires in the continental US and territories. Current Air Force North and ANG infrastructure is ready to accept this new mission with minor changes to processes and authorities. Combining the infrastructure and technology together creates the SWiFT program. When operational, SWiFT can help save lives and precious land typically consumed by fire. This monograph also addresses social issues and effects from enacting SWiFT along with considerations leaders can take to ensure public approval. Lastly this monograph describes the next steps the USAF can take to begin testing and creation of the SWiFT program.

Subject Categories:

  • Forestry
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]