Air Guard Crews Train for Fighting Wildfires
Select C-130 cargo plane crews with the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing are conducting annual Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System II training with the U.S. Forest Service at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, in Cheyenne and at Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center in Guernsey this week. During training, the WYANG works closely with the Forest Service, who owns the MAFFS II units, to accomplish the mission.
The MAFFS system was established in the 1970s and uses Air National Guard aircraft to release fire retardant and water from tanks on board the aircraft. The MAFFS II system was implemented in 2011 and has several improvements over the old system including; a more efficient spray pattern; a new trigger system and more dispersal options; an air compressor to assist in reloading water and retardant; and the aircraft is now able to fly with the back end closed, keeping it pressurized, enabling the aircraft to fly higher and operate more fuel efficiently. In 2011, the 153rd was mobilized three times, twice to battle fires in Texas and once to Support efforts in Idaho and Oregon.