Defense

August 29, 2012

Air Force C-130 firefighting efforts reach milestone

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Thomas J. Doscher
A Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130 drops retardant on a section of the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs, Colo. June 26, 2012 Four MAFFS aircraft from the 302nd and 153rd Airlift Wings are supporting civil authorities as they combat the fire, which has burned since June 23.

Air Force Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130s reached a major mission milestone Aug. 24 by dropping the 2 millionth gallon of retardant for the season.

MAFFS 5, assigned to the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing here, dropped the record-breaking gallon during its third sortie of the day battling the Halstead fire north of Stanley, Idaho.

The same day, the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 53rd Airlift Wing also provided aerial firefighting support to the Halstead fire, and additional MAFFS-equipped C-130s flew in support of firefighting efforts in California and Oregon.

Leaders of the 153rd Air Expeditionary Group in Boise, Idaho, said this season has become the third-highest in MAFFS history for gallons dropped, surpassed only by 1994 and 2000, when about 5 million gallons and 2.1 million gallons, respectively, were dropped.

“This has been an extremely challenging year, with several large fires and severe drought conditions,” said Air Force Col. Jerry Champlin, 153rd Air Expeditionary Group commander. “Our MAFFS aircrews and aircraft maintainers have been working long hours every day to help with the initial attack and suppression of several wildland fires throughout the Western region of the country.”
MAFFS-equipped C-130s have been activated since June 25, when they were requested by the U.S. Forest Service for assistance in the Rocky Mountain area. Their first missions included fire suppression support for the costliest fire in Colorado’s history.

Throughout the 2012 season, MAFFS C-130s have been flying out of a number of tanker base locations, moving MAFFS operations closer to the fires as needed. Tanker bases in 2012 included locations in Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, California, Montana and Oregon.

This year, MAFFS has supported firefighting efforts in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

“The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve MAFFS aircrews and support personnel have been extremely flexible, responding to short-notice changes to the MAFFS mission including tanker base relocations throughout this year,” Champlin said. Through Aug. 27, the MAFFS fleet had released more than 2,152,603 gallons of fire retardant during 899 drops on fires in 10 states.

MAFFS is a joint DOD and U.S. Forest Service program designed to provide additional aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private air tankers are no longer able to meet the needs of the forest service. The system 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, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.

The MAFFS-equipped C-130s are operated by four military units: the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard; 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard; 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard; and the 302nd Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command.

This is the first year since 2008 that all four MAFFS wings have been activated simultaneously, officials said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines June 29, 2015

News: SpaceX Falcon 9 explodes moments after launch – A SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station blew up June 28 shortly after liftoff.   Business: How serious a setback is SpaceX rocket explosion? – Elon Musk had never come face to face with that rule before — at least not in space travel —...
 
 

News Briefs June 29, 2015

Iraqi pilot in Arizona plane crash found dead Officials say the body of an Iraqi pilot who had been training in the United States and crashed in southern Arizona has been located. Iraq’s Defense Ministry said June 26 that search teams found the body of Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadeeq at the crash site five...
 
 
Huntington Ingalls Industries photograph

PCU John Warner delivered to Navy

Huntington Ingalls Industries photograph A dolphin jumps in front of the Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785) as the boat conducts sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Navy ac...
 

 
navair-helo

HX-21 completes first flight with developmental electronic warfare pod

On June 8, 2015, a UH-1Y from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 completed the first test flight with a developmental electronic warfare pod.  The pod would represent a new tactical capability for U.S. Marine Corps rotar...
 
 

Northrop, Navy celebrate legacy of EA-6B Prowler

Northrop Grumman photograph by Edgar Mills The U.S. Navy’s last operational EA-6B Prowler, designed and built by Northrop Grumman, lifts off from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. in a ceremonial fly-away June 27 from its long time operational base. The Navy is retiring the Prowler after nearly 45 years of service.   The U.S....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Capt. Tania Bryan

NORTHERN EDGE provides environment for testing new capabilities

Air Force photograph by Capt. Tania Bryan Aircraft from test and evaluation squadrons across the Air Force line up on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson flightline. Northern Edge is Alaska’s premier joint training exercise d...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>