Fist of Mist: The Future of Aerial Firefighting

Tomorrow Capewell will be heading to Chicago to exhibit at the National Guard Association of the United States annual conference. We’ll be meeting with members of the Air National Guard to talk aerial delivery, specifically about the future of aerial firefighting. So this week we invited our friends at Caylym, a company dedicated to saving homes, to write an article on their Guardian System, a revolutionary innovation that Capewell is proud to support.

A metric ton of fire retardant just after deployment from a single container, Source:

A metric ton of fire retardant just after deployment from a single container,

The annual cost of U.S. forest fires has more than quintupled in the past two decades, with current government spending around three to four billion dollars per year. There are many factors that contribute to these staggering numbers and the fear is that they will continue to rise in the years to come. The greatest opportunity to impact these numbers remains in fire prevention education and techniques. However, once a fire has started, an entire community and industry jumps into action to knock down the blaze and prevent it from spreading. Aerial firefighting has seen little advancement in equipment and technology over the last half century. The small aging operational fleet of air tankers that remains requires regular maintenance and is limited to low altitude daytime missions. Caylym Technologies, based in central California, has developed a product that will change the aerial landscape forever and may tip the scales in the firefighter’s direction.

The Guardian Aerial Firefighting System is a containerized aerial liquid deployment system that can be used by any rear loading cargo aircraft. A single Guardian Unit is a super-reinforced corrugated box which holds 264 gallons, or a giant metric ton raindrop, that opens midair once dropped from the aircraft, creating a rain effect. The genius design is elegant, simple, and reliable keeping the boxes sealed and secure until they are released from the aircraft, and upon opening, form an overlapping pattern for an instant deluge. The availability of aircraft and crew that can deploy The Guardian System would allow the United States’ current aerial firefighting fleet, which consists of a few dozen aging aircraft, to be increased by hundreds. Aircraft such as the mighty Hercules C-130 can carry sixteen Guardian units with the latest models carrying 18-20 units, which translates to over five thousand gallons of water or retardant dropped on each pass.

A single Guardian system ready loaded and ready to be dropped. Source:

A single Guardian system loaded and ready to for air drop.

The Guardian aerial firefighting system is dropped using a military technique called Container Delivery System (CDS). This technique has been used for decades and allows already trained crews to drop a massive blanket of water with precision from a much higher altitude than a traditional air tanker. The Guardian System is quickly gaining acceptance overseas with the Romanian Air force and strong interest from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, and Chile just to name a few. The Guardian has also been working its way through the U.S. approvals, gaining a Resolution from the National Guard Association of the United States last year and garnering support from policy officials, state and local representatives, and support from military leaders.

Caylym has been manufacturing the Guardian and fulfilling orders since early 2013. Significant resources have been added this year to meet the demands of a strong European fire season. If you have questions about the Guardian Aerial Firefighting System visit or call  (209) 322-9596. You can also see the Guardian in action here.

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This morning we would like to take time to say we hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend across to all those who celebrated the 4th of July holiday!

We here at Capewell hope that you had not only a happy, but safe time, with family or friends and if you have a great 4th of July story – send it in! We’d love to hear about it! From our family here to yours, we wish you only the best!

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Spring Feature!

Take a look at this great giveaway!

M.H. Rhodes Cramer, LLC

Improvements go all the way to packaging, and it’s all about the branding! MH Rhodes Cramer is promoting the MarkTime® brand with a little pizazz to our distributor packaging! Clean, crisp product images with clear product information in three languages on our brand colors, provide a very handsome display. We invite you to visit a nearby electrical distributor; see if you can spot us! The first 20 people who Like Us and our new packing on Facebook and leave a comment that you’ve liked us below will receive a black and red Rhodes Cramer baseball cap!!!

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The Military’s Relationship with Hollywood

The U.S. Military and Hollywood have had a long standing relationship; Americans have been fascinated and entertained by war films since the early 20th century. Unbeknownst to some movie lovers however, is the fact that each branch of the military has their own entertainment liaison office in Los Angeles. Each branch handles production requests differently, but the underlying purpose of each office is to offer a point of contact for those wanting to produce some form of media that involves the military.

There has been much debate over the Pentagon’s involvement in films and whether or not the military actively censors what is being produced. Phillip Strub is the Director of Entertainment Media at the Department of Defense, heading the Film and Television Liaison Office. He consults on projects involving the military and reviews requests to ensure an accurate and positive portrayal. He was recently interviewed by Military Times and commented on criticism of the Pentagon’s propaganda tactics:

“I think the whole notion that we censor is so ridiculous that it’s hard to believe that people take it seriously. Hollywood … has to be the most influence-resistant institution ever. The last thing they will tolerate is interference. Pictures (related to the military) are made all the time without support from DoD, for one reason or another.”

Strub made headlines last year when the Pentagon decided to stop collaborating on the move The Avengers, stating they, “couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and [their] place in it.”

Specific criteria has been laid out by the Pentagon in order for a production to be approved. The policy states that the production must benefit the Department of Defense or otherwise be in the national interest based on the following factors:

  • The production must help increase public understanding of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense.
  • The production should help Armed Forces recruiting and retention programs.
  • The production must be authentic in its portrayal of persons, places, actual military operations or historical events. Fictional portrayals must depict a feasible interpretation of military life, operations and policies.
  • The production should not appear to condone or endorse activities by private citizens or organizations that are contrary to U.S. Government policy.
  • The producer must agree to sign and abide by the production agreement and DODI5410.16 (you will receive copies of both documents early in your coordination).
  • Military assets requested must be available when required.

There are different levels in which the military may assist the production of different types of media. In his dissertationThe Development of Hollywood’s Relationship with the Military: A Guide for Filmmakers and Military Entertainment Liaison Officers,  Jim Gregory outlines how the military may become involved:

Courtesy assistance entails providing filmmakers access to military bases for research purposes. It can also include a review of the script for accuracy where the DoD entertainment liaison representative will make suggestions that the filmmaker can accept or reject. If requested, a DoD entertainment liaison may choose to visit a set to provide technical advice regarding accuracy, such as how a command center might look, or how military props and uniforms are utilized or worn. Normally, filmmakers do not need to have secured a distribution agreement to receive courtesy assistance.

The next level of assistance is considered full support. For a film project to be considered for full support, a distribution agreement must have been secured by the person submitting the film project and the full script must be approved by the military. Once the script is approved, the appropriate military service will draft a production agreement for signature. The agreement stipulates the exact assistance that will be granted throughout the production of the film. Full support entails the assignment of a DoD project officer, who will provide technical assistance as well as ensure adherence to the agreed upon script. Depending on the needs of the filmmaker, the cooperation provided can range from access to military bases and equipment for filming to assistance with obtaining military extras to perform tasks that could not easily be taught to actors.

There’s no doubt that the military and Hollywood film producers will maintain its strong bond for as long as Americans continue to flock to the theaters.

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What is a Jumpmaster?

What is a Jumpmaster?

We’ve talked about a few roles in the Air Force before and today we’d like to continue our , “What is…” series. Today we’re going to take a look at what/who a Jumpmaster is!

Though a Jumpmaster is an army position, they are very much involved in aerial delivery and overseeing paratroopers. So what are they responsible for?

The Jumpmaster is responsible for organizing their crew and making sure that everyone is up to speed with the task at hand. It is the Jumpmasters job to make sure every paratrooper is proficient at Airborne techniques such as: Day/Night combat equipment jumping, performing proper parachute safety, deployment and control. They also ensure that paratroopers are able to perform proper airplane procedures and landing techniques.

Along with these responsibilities the Jumpmaster ensures that the aircraft has been loaded with functioning equipment. It is his/her job to inspect items prior to the plane being loaded. The inspection continues as all the jumpers are looked over before taking flight. It is imperative that all their gear fits properly, their helmets allow for serviceability and that they have the correct gear. Before the plane has left the ground, it is the Jumpmasters task to conduct a thorough safety inspection.

Working closely with the paratroopers is a conspicuous part of the Jumpmasters duties –  but did you know that the Jumpmaster also deals with navigation?

It’s true! The Jumpmaster identifies in flight reference points, confirms the flights navigation with flight diagrams and connects with the Navigation Officer frequently.

The position of a Jumpmaster is very distinguished. In order to reach this level one must attend a Jumpmaster School where  must maintain a minimum of 70% in all graded events and display a high degree of proficiency in the Jumpmaster Personnel Inspection, among other challenges.

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Capewell in Singapore


Capewell is excited to announce that we will be at the Singapore Airshow from February 11th to February 14th!

For those that don’t know, the event is one of Asia’s largest aerospace and defense exhibitions and it ranks among being one of the largest in the world. It is a global exhibition where the latest technologies and developments are displayed by top aerospace companies. The event also features conferences – the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit and the Asia Pacific Security Conference – which attract a good deal of attention on their own. Other strategic conferences during this time include: he A*STAR Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum and the Singapore Aerospace Technology & Engineering Conference.

If you’d like any more information on this event we invite you to lok at their website here. Or if you are planning to walk the show yourself and would like to schedule a meeting, please feel free to contact Gary Jennings (

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Chinese New Year


Did you know…?

  • According to legend, twelve animals met Buddha on the Chinese New Year. From these twelve, the years were named. It’s said that people born in each animal’s year would present traits that are similar to that animal’s personality.
  • While a good deal of people bring in the New Year by watching a ball drop, Chinese New Year is celebrated differently. People are encouraged to wear the color red, decorate with poems and literature and children can receive red envelopes with “lucky money”! Red is the symbol for fire that, according to legend, will drive bad luck away throughout the year.
  • Festivals during this time include many get-togethers with family and firework displays. There is also a lantern festival held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. These lanterns are traditionally painted with birds, animals, flowers or even zodiac signs!
  • Chinese months are determined by the lunar calendar with each month beginning on the darkest day. This year, New Year’s festivities began (today) on Jan. 31st 2014 to ring in the year of the horse!

The year of the horse is associated with leadership, independence and perseverance. The horse is said to have very strong traits and it is speculated that the year will follow in the same path. We would like to take this time to wish those celebrating the Chinese New Year a great start to 2014!

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