Two military MAFFS air tankers mobilized

(Last Updated On: August 2, 2016)
MAFFS air tanker
File photo. Members of the  302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado push a U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne FireFighting System unit onto a C-130 designated as MAFFS 5, Aug. 2, 2015. It takes about three hours to load and then configure the MAFFS unit in a C-130 aircraft.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan Federico)

The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC) at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho has mobilized two Department of Defense C-130s equipped with Modular Airborne FireFighting Systems (MAFFS) to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in the western United States.

The two C-130 MAFFS will be provided by the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard, based out of Cheyenne, and the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve, Peterson Air Force Base, based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The aircraft will initially work out of Boise and are expected to be available to fly wildfire suppression missions by Wednesday, August 3.

MAFFS are intended to supplement the contracted air tanker fleet to provide surge capacity when there are not enough large air tankers to fill the requests from fire incident commanders on going fires and initial attack on emerging fires.

MAFFS are portable fire retardant delivery systems that can be inserted into military C-130 aircraft to convert them into large air tankers which can drop up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant on wildfires.

5 thoughts on “Two military MAFFS air tankers mobilized”

  1. Strange that they are activating MAFFS when there are still CWN Tankers available. I know Neptune has one BAe-146 and Air Spray has 2 BAe-146s. Isn’t all civilian contractors supposed to have no other aircraft available before MAFFS can be activated?

        1. That is strange. The CWN contract states that they have 2 available with 2 more coming available 1 in 2017 and 1 in 2018

    1. Air Spray has five BAe-146’s. One may be fully converted by sometime in 2017, with a second to follow not too long afterward. The other three would be done later.

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