And Then There Were Six

US Northern Command pressed two additional C-130s into service to help the US Forest Service fight worsening wildfires in the western United States. The command activated two Modular Firefighting System-equipped C-130s from the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing in Cheyenne on Aug. 13 to rejoin the fray, bringing the size of the MAFFS C-130 force back up to six. “Our aircraft are heavily engaged and having two additional MAFFS will definitely help,” said Col. Jerry Champlin, commander of the 153rd Air Expeditionary Group that is coordinating the MAFFS fleet’s engagement. The two Wyoming C-130s are operating alongside two airplanes from Air Force Reserve Command’s Colorado-based 302nd AW out of Boise Air Terminal, Idaho. A single aircraft each from the North Carolina Air Guard’s 145th AW and California Air Guard’s 146th AW is staging from McClellan Air Tanker Base in Sacramento, Calif. As of Aug. 14, the combined MAFFS fleet had flown 563 sorties, dropping some 1,520,439 gallons of retardant since their activation on June 25, a MAFFS spokesman told the Daily Report. (Cheyenne release)