HomeNewsArticle Display

Colorado AF reservists fighting California fires from the sky

A C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing taxis to a reload "pit" to take on nearly 3,000 gallons of fire retardant at McClellan Air Tanker Base in Sacramento, Calif., Aug. 4, 2015. The aircrew received a tasking to provide support to the growing Rocky Fire northwest of Sacramento, which had consumed approximately 65,000 acres as of the morning of Aug. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Stephen J. Collier)

A C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing taxis to a reload "pit" to take on nearly 3,000 gallons of fire retardant at McClellan Air Tanker Base in Sacramento, Calif., Aug. 4, 2015. The aircrew received a tasking to provide support to the growing Rocky Fire northwest of Sacramento, which had consumed approximately 65,000 acres as of the morning of Aug. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Stephen J. Collier)

MCCLELLAN AIR TANKER BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Two Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped aircraft arrived here from the Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 3, to assist in fighting the Rocky Fire northwest of Sacramento, California, the same day.

They joined two Air National Guard MAFFS-equipped C-130J Super Hercules from the 146th Airlift Wing from Channel Islands, California, which had been helping fight the fire since Aug. 1.

"We were flying within a couple hours of arriving here," said Maj. Brian McReynolds, who is a MAFFS aircraft commander for the first time this season.

The Rocky Fire has burned 62,000 acres as of the morning of Aug. 4, and is only 12 percent contained. Thousands of residents have been evacuated so far. The dry, windy conditions could mean an even more dangerous fire if the environment does not improve.

"It was challenging," McReynolds said. "There were multiple fires in one location, smoke, (and) other air traffic."

The first day all four C-130s fought the Rocky Fire, they flew a combined 22 sorties and dropped close to 63,000 gallons of retardant to establish fire containment lines.

According to the Air National Guard mission commander, Maj. Andrew Miller, they are expecting to fly out of McClellan Air Tanker Base for the next several weeks.

The Defense Department MAFFS-equipped C-130s are operated by four military airlift wings: The Wyoming ANG’s 153rd AW; California ANG’s 146th AW; North Carolina ANG’s 145th AW; and the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd AW.

MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system, owned by the U.S. Forest Service. MAFFS can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long and 100-feet wide, according to the Forest Service. Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.

The DOD, through U.S. Northern Command at Peterson AFB, provides unique military support to firefighting efforts when requested by the National Interagency Fire Center and approved by the secretary of Defense. The diverse mission assets are prepared to respond quickly and effectively to protect lives, property, critical infrastructure and natural resources, and can include, but are not limited to, MAFFS, military helicopters and ground forces capable of supporting the firefighting efforts.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein: "You are valued. We need you. Your family needs you. The Air Force needs you." https://t.co/jioda8dKvY
RT @SecAFOfficial: We thank Matt Donovan for 40+ yrs of dedication to the #USAF. His leadership will continue to be vital to taking care of…
RT @DeptofDefense: For three decades, Ara Shishmanian served his country in the @USAFReserve. He also serves in the classroom. Press ▶️ to…
RT @AETCommand: #BehindTheScenes - Command Chief Master Sergeant training course students at @HQAirUniversity learn about leadership, commu…
RT @thejointstaff: Watch today's change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by #GenMilley, live @ 10 a.m. EST on Twitter. @SEAC_Troxell wil…
RT @HQ_AFMC: 📽️We're back to the @Afresearchlab for Day 10 of #24DaysAFMC. This year they tested a state-of-the-art rocket #engine preburne…
RT @16AF_AFCYBER: The holiday season is a prime time for online thieves to take advantage of weaknesses in shoppers' devices to extract per…
RT @USAFCENT: ALWAYS READY | Members of the 823d Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron test their combat life-saving skills during a medical…
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…