Colorado Reservists Rejoin Aerial Firefighting Efforts

Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing last week rejoined aerial firefighting activities in the northwestern United States by dispatching one of its specially configured C-130s to Boise, Idaho, according to a unit release. A second Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped C-130 from the wing is expected to deploy to Boise this week, states the Aug. 7 release. Already, a C-130 MAFFS airplane from the Wyoming Air National Guard is operating from Boise. The 302nd AW’s deployment is part of a normal rotation of the Air Force’s C-130 MAFFS forces to support the US Forest Service in battling wildfires across the nation. “The four MAFFS wings typically follow a monthly rotation schedule. In August, the 302nd is at the top of the list for MAFFS support,” said Lt. Col. Luke Thompson, the wing’s chief of aerial firefighting. In addition to the 302nd AW, which is based at Peterson AFB, Colo., and the Wyoming ANG unit, there is one Air Guard MAFFS wing in California and one in North Carolina. In June, the Forest Service called on the MAFFS for help in fighting wildfires in Colorado. (Peterson report by Ann Skarban)