Other News Releases
For Release: April 10, 2023
NIFC: Stanton Florea, 208-387-5437, firstname.lastname@example.org
AFNORTH: Lt Col Karen Roganov, 850-774-1044, email@example.com
Aerial wildland fire training taking place this week at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station
Boise, Idaho - The USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other federal wildland fire agencies will conduct annual training for Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) personnel at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Port Hueneme, April 11-15. The training is being hosted by the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing.
The training will include four military C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing and the Nevada Air National Guard’s 152nd Airlift Wing. The training includes classroom sessions, flying and ground operations for Air Force aircrews, civilian lead plane pilots and support personnel from the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, other federal and CAL FIRE.
The training session is one of two this spring for the MAFFS program. The California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., will participate in the same recertification training at Channel Islands ANG Station May 8-12.
The eight C-130 Hercules aircraft that are part of the program are equipped with the USDA Forest Service’s MAFFS, which can drop up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in less than 10 seconds across a quarter-mile line. The system slides into the back of the military aircraft, and retardant is released through a nozzle on the rear left side. MAFFS aircraft can be activated to provide a critical “surge” capability to help slow or stop the spread of wildland fires. MAFFS aircraft are only activated when all commercial airtankers that are part of the national airtanker fleet are fully committed or not readily available.
As part of the training in Southern California, practice water drops will be conducted on some remote portions of the Angeles National Forest. Residents and visitors in those areas may see low-flying C-130 aircraft and smaller lead planes throughout the week.
Note to news media: An opportunity to interview personnel and observe the training, including a practice water drop, will take place at Channel Islands ANG Station on Thursday, April 14. If interested, please RSVP to Nicholas Carzis, 146th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, at 805-986-7420.
For more information on the MAFFS program, visit: www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/planes/maffs
For background photos and videos of the program, visit: www.dvidshub.net/feature/MAFFSAEG
Photo: Nevada National Guard 152nd Airlift Wing taken by SSSGT Paula Macomber.