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Expeditionary civil engineers upgrade fire retardant foam

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Firefighters from the 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron upgraded their inventory of aqueous film forming foam to a more environmentally friendly version of the fire retardant, Jan. 6 at the 407th Air Expeditionary Group.

The switch was part of an Air Force-wide initiative, according to Tech. Sgt. Nathan Darke, 407th ECES B-shift battalion fire chief.

This swap has brought the 407th ECES fire stations into compliance with the new Air Force standards, which are intended to keep base assets and people safe while being better stewards of the environment.

“The old foam was near the end of its life-cycle, so it was a good time to replace it,” he said.

The unit replaced more than 2,100 gallons of the foam concentrate in six crash vehicles and a foam trailer, which are used to extinguish aircraft and fuels fires.

Before adding the new mixture, the vehicles and trailer were triple-washed to remove any residual waste. The old foam concentrate and residual waste were then put into containers and shipped to a contractor to be properly disposed of, said Darke.

Aqueous film forming foam concentrate is mixed with water and air to form the foam mixture needed to fight the volatile fires created by jet fuel, according to Tech. Sgt. Jason Demoss, 407th ECES assistant chief of firefighting operations.

This swap has brought the 407th ECES fire stations into compliance with the new Air Force standards, which are intended to keep base assets and people safe while being better stewards of the environment.