The NSW Rural Fire Brigade’s 737 Large Air Tanker’ Marie Bashir’ returned to Australia on 7 September 2023 after its 3-month deployment in the United States of America.
The LAT departed from the Royal Australian Air Force’s base in Richmond on 2 June earlier this year. Since then, it provided aerial aid by extinguishing fires in California and Oregon.
According to the NSW RFS, the aircraft had 99 drops on 49 different fires, amounting to over 1.1 million litres of suppressant.
The aircraft’s return will add more force to the Aviation Fleet in its fight against bushfires as the state approaches the statutory Bush Fire Danger Period from 1 October until 31 March.
Named after the state’s first female governor, the 737 LAT can fly at 850 km/h, carrying 15,000 litres of water or retardant, and drop its whole load in 2.2 seconds.
In August 2019, ‘Marie Bashir’ called the Richmond base its home.