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Peterson reserve wing deploys second MAFFS-equipped C-130 to Western U.S.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Airlift Wing sent a second Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130 to Fresno Air Tanker Base, California today to support ongoing aerial fire fighting efforts in the western U.S.

The Colorado Reserve wing has been supporting the U.S. Forest Service's request for assistance with one MAFFS C-130 since July 30, which began the federal activation of three MAFFS-equipped C-130s.

“It’s been an active six weeks for our MAFFS crews and support personnel – our Air Force reservists are trained and ready to provide additional support. MAFFS 2 and its crew will contribute to the overall team efforts and work in support of fire suppression in the western U.S.,” said Col. James DeVere, commander of the 302nd Airlift Wing.

The original USFS request for assistance, which was made July 27, for three MAFFS-equipped C-130 Hercules aircraft remains unchanged. When the USFS requires surge aerial fighting support, and MAFFS is activated, the MAFFS Air Expeditionary Group command rotates support amongst the four participating Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard MAFFS airlift wings.

The MAFFS-equipped C-130s are operated by four military airlift wings: The 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard; 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard, 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard; and the 302nd Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command. All four wings have supported operations at Fresno Tanker Base since the July activation of MAFFS. MAFFS 2 will join the 302nd AW's MAFFS 5 and the 146th AW's MAFFS 6 to continue aerial fire fighting efforts. As of Sept. 5, MAFFS-equipped C-130s have made 266 drops disbursing 713,625 gallons of retardant to aid in the suppression of more than a dozen fires.

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