HomeNewsArticle Display

AF Reserve, ANG Airmen prepare for 2016 wildland fire season

A line of water is dropped high above the Los Angeles Forest from a Air National Guard C-130 containing the MAFFS (Modular Airborne Firefighting System) system used to combat wild fires during annual MAFFS training on May 3 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carzis)

A line of water is dropped high above Angeles National Forest in Southern California from an Air National Guard C-130 Hercules on May 3, 2016, during a training mission. The C-130 was equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, used to combat wildfires. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carzis)

A 302nd Airlift Wing C-130 performs water drop training in southern California on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The training was conducted at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Calif., for the mission’s annual certification. Since 1974, MAFFS — a fire retardant delivery system inserted into C-130 aircraft — has been a joint effort including the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Defense to fight wildland fires. The training ends Friday.

A 302nd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules performs water-drop training in Southern California on May 3, 2016. The training was conducted at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Calif., for the mission’s annual certification. Since 1974, the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, a fire retardant delivery system inserted into a C-130, has been a joint effort including the U.S. Forest Service and the Defense Department to fight wildland fires. (Courtesy photo)

CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif. (AFNS) -- More than 400 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen from across the country gathered May 2-6 to be certified on the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System in preparation for the 2016 wildland fire season.

Airmen from four ANG wings, along with the Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing, took part in classroom-based briefings and training, as well as C-130 flying operations. Military flight instructors trained alongside U.S. Forest Service aircrew flying in mountainous terrain over simulated fire lines, while ground crewmembers honed their skills servicing the aircraft and reloading the MAFFS units at the tanker base located at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station. Military and civilian agencies synchronized and coordinated during the training in order to ensure fluid processes during firefighting operations.

Col. Scott Sanders, the MAFFS Air Expeditionary Group commander, said the training went well for aircrews this year.

“MAFFS is an interagency partnership. We train as we fight -- together. It is far and away one of our most satisfying missions,” said Sanders, who is assigned to the Wyoming ANG’s 153rd AW. “One of the reasons we enjoy flying it is to see the immediate results of our efforts."

Throughout certification week, 80 C-130 Hercules aircrews flew approximately 200 training sorties, performing targeted water drops in the mountains of Southern California’s Angeles National Forest. An estimated 1.5 million gallons of water was estimated to have been dropped.

Kim Christensen, the National Interagency Fire Center deputy assistant director of operations for fire and aviation management, said the wildland fire potential for 2016 was similar to that of other years.

“The 2016 fire season prediction for the country has been pegged at a normal, significant fire potential,” Christensen said. “There are two areas that are pointing to above average fire potential out West, including the Great Basin in Nevada and areas throughout Southern California.”

In previous years, requests for MAFFS support has increased. The average fire season, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, has increased by 64 to 72 days.

During an activation to support wildland fire suppression, MAFFS units can drop up to 3,000 gallons of retardant per run on wildfires. Retardant is dropped ahead of a fire in an effort to slow its spread, giving ground crews a critical edge in gaining the upper hand on the blaze. The retardant’s bright red color also helps aircrews determine the accuracy of their drops.

MAFFS is a partnership between federal land management agencies and the Air Force to provide supplemental air tankers to assist in fire suppression efforts nationwide during times of high fire activity. The system itself is a portable fire retardant delivery system that can be easily inserted into a C-130, converting the vessel into an air tanker when civilian fleets have been fully committed.

The Air Force's MAFFS aerial firefighting fleet is supported by the Reserve's 302nd AW, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the ANG's 153rd AW, located in Cheyenne, Wyoming; the 146th AW, based at Channel Islands ANGS; and the 145th AW in Charlotte, North Carolina. Recently, the National Guard Bureau selected the 152nd AW with the Nevada ANG in Reno to replace the 145th AW as the North Carolina-based unit begins its transition to the C-17 Globemaster III.

Engage

Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall’s message to #Airmen & #Guardians on our collective responsibility to overcome COVID-19 ⬇️ For resources…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Good enough today will fail tomorrow. #acceleratechangeorlose https://t.co/5dAU3Q9Ouy
Twitter
.@AETCommand's Tech Training Transformation team, partnering w/ @SheppardAFB, has re-engineered the foundational Cr… https://t.co/NjL2MA1iZc
Twitter
Empowered #Airmen are key to cutting unnecessary bureaucracy, recognizing and understanding our competition, and th… https://t.co/aqTk9p98nQ
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr signed the charter for the #AirForce's China Aerospace Studies Institute. The institute conducts r… https://t.co/PB0jNKxV4H
Twitter
Bringing the future faster! https://t.co/SuHZdRGH5t
Twitter
#ICYMI, the DAF has worked to optimize air & space capabilities in the Arctic region, supporting @DeptofDefense obj… https://t.co/rEi19ZLmjs
Twitter
Airmen and Soldiers transport a simulated patient to an Army HH-60M Black Hawk medevac helicopter during a joint em… https://t.co/EMMEQBDbyA
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@SD_Guard F-16s with the 114th Fighter Wing fly over South Dakota during #CombatRaider 21. Various @usairforce & ANG uni…
Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase Airmen worked w/ @USAfricaCommand and Tunisian Air Force personnel to provided 310 canisters of o… https://t.co/RY83o75XAQ
Twitter
RT @AFSOUTH: SrA Luis Pratts a @usairforce F-16 Crew Chief at #RelampagoVI not only launches airpower daily during his time in #Colombia bu…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s first message to @USAirForce #Airmen & @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians: “If there is one phrase that summa…
Twitter
Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 American service members killed in the Vietnam War have been identified… https://t.co/6ZrdLbl8dP
Twitter
Frank Kendall was sworn in as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! As the department's highest-ranking civilian le… https://t.co/Fe5CXpdDlj
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall has hit the ground running on his first day, meeting with Under Secretary Jones, Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. (@…
Twitter
Northern Strike, one of @DeptofDefense's largest reserve exercises, is preparing to launch. 5,100 participants from… https://t.co/VaRCeWFnb3
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: (1/2) The Secretary is in the building! The Honorable Frank Kendall arrived to the Pentagon this morning and was admini…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: After over six months in the role, A/SecAF Roth sent a farewell letter to #Airmen & #Guardians this evening: “I am in co…
Twitter
Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at @TeamEglin, @TeamTyndall, and @HurlburtField, Florida, test a new X-Ray system… https://t.co/bombk9WqhD
Twitter
Gina Ortiz Jones was sworn in as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. The second highest-ranking civilian leader… https://t.co/9aMOfEDv6A
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,355,037
Follow Us