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August 10, 2012 01:56 PM

NC Unit Set To Return To Firefighting Duty In West

CHEYENNE, WY

A North Carolina Air National Guard unit is set to return to firefighting duty six weeks after four of its airmen died in a crash in South Dakota.

The military announced Friday that the Charlotte-based 145th Airlift Wing will relieve California's 146th Airlift Wing National Guard firefighting unit on August 14 so its specially equipped C-130 plane can undergo routine maintenance. It will be based in Boise, Idaho.

Each plane is fitted with a bus-sized device called a Modular Airborne Firefighting System that can carry up to 3,000 gallons of slurry.

The unit's operations commander, Col. Roger Williams Jr., said its members will carry the memories of those who died in July 1 crash in the Black Hills with them as they continue their mission.

The crash is still under investigation.

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