California Air Guard Still Lacks Firefighting Add-on

According to an Associated Press report (via The Mercury News), California is still waiting for the Administration to make good on its vow to equip state Air National Guard aircraft with an aerial fire-fighting capability. As we last reported, the Bush Administration acknowledged it would miss a July fielding date but hoped to provide the equipment by September. However, a Guard spokesman told AP that the equipment “is still under testing and validation.” The equipment in question is new and called MAFFS 2, for modular airborne fire-fighting system. The 30-year-old MAFFS 1 does not work with the new, longer C-130J Hercules flown by the California ANG’s 146th Airlift Wing at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station. Now, an official with the US Forest Service, which has been overseeing development of the new equipment, tells AP that the contract calls for the 146th AW’s eight J models to be MAFF 2-ready by the end of December.