Defense

July 10, 2013

Air Force firefighting aircraft repositioned

Tags:
Lt. Col. Robert Carver
Boise, Idaho

A 302nd Airlift Wing C-130, outfitted with a Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, taxis along the Peterson Air Force Base runway preparing to assist with firefighting efforts throughout the Colorado Springs region June 12, 2013. MAFFS is designed to assist ground firefighting crews by dispersing fire retardant agents, which help mitigate and slow active fires.

The U.S. Forest Service, through the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, has directed the repositioning of military Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System aircraft from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Mesa, Ariz.

“The weather and progress on the ground have helped us in the Four Corners region,” said Col. Charles D. Davis III, the commander of the Air Expeditionary Group (Provisional) – Wildland Fire Fighting. “By (July 10), we plan to have relocated all four airplanes and their crews to Arizona.”

One MAFFS aircraft departed Colorado Springs July 8 to drop fire retardant on the Dean Peak fire, a wildland blaze burning east of Kingman, Ariz., in an effort to draw suppression lines and help contain the fire.

The AEG intends to have all four MAFFS aircraft ready to make drops in Arizona July 10. They will operate from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway. Two aircraft are from the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing, and two are from the California Air National Guard’s 146th AW.

“The relocation of the MAFFS resources does not mean MAFFS aircraft will be unavailable should they be needed in the region again if the USFS determines that is necessary,” Davis said.

Four additional MAFFS-capable C-130s are operated by Air National Guard units in North Carolina and Wyoming and can be called on if needed.

MAFFS initially activated June 11 to assist in fighting forest fires in Southern Colorado after USFS officials sent a request for assistance to the Department of Defense though U.S. Northern Command. USFS requested two additional MAFFS tankers June 21. Since activating, MAFFS aircraft have made 70 drops on Colorado and Arizona fires using some 190,000 gallons of fire retardant.

MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the USFS. MAFFS modules are loaded into the cargo bays of military C-130 aircraft. Following USFS lead planes, military aircrews can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant from the MAFFS modules along the leading edge of a forest fire in less than five seconds, and cover an area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Once the load is discharged, ground crews at a MAFFS tanker base can refill the modules in less than 12 minutes.

A joint DOD and USFS program, MAFFS provides aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private air tankers are no longer able to meet the needs of the USFS. The military AEG exercises control over MAFFS resources at the direction of the USFS.

Four C-130 units perform the MAFFS mission, each providing two MAFFS-capable aircraft, and the air and ground crews needed to operate them. They are the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th AW; California ANG 146th AW; Wyoming ANG 153rd AW; and the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd AW, in Colorado.
The Colorado- and California-based units are currently activated.

USNORTHCOM is the joint combatant command formed in the wake of the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks to provide homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities. USNORTHCOM provides DOD capabilities for disaster response operations in support of the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Interagency Fire Center, and state and local officials.




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Obama aide: U.S. should look at Ukraine military aid A senior aide of President Barack Obama says he believes the U.S. should consider giving Ukraine lethal, defensive military assistance to get Russia to think twice about its destabilizing behavior. Tony Blinken, the deputy national security adviser, cites serious violations by Russia of agreements not to...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 

 
LM-facility

Lockheed Martin opens Surface Navy Innovation Center

Lockheed Martin has opened the Surface Navy Innovation Center in Moorestown, N.J., to support the development of new technologies for the U.S. Navy. The SNIC is a research, development and demonstration facility that brings tog...
 
 
raytheon-test

Raytheon successfully demonstrates integrated electronic warfare capabilities

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Raytheon, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated an end to end, first of its kind, integrated electronic attack system during flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Station Chi...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>