MAFFS Force Stands Down from Wildfire Support

MAFFS Force Stands Down from Wildfire Support: The Air Force’s small fleet of C-130 firefighting airplanes ceased battling wildfires in the western United States. The US Forest Service released the final two Modular Airborne Firefighting System-equipped C-130s from service on Sept. 14 due to favorable fire conditions in the western states, according to the 153rd Air Expeditionary Group’s Sept. 17 release. The two C-130s—one Air National Guard asset from California and one from North Carolina—had been operating out of Sacramento, Calif., for the past few weeks. “Although our planes and crews have returned home, we all know MAFFS can still be reactivated well into the fall,” said Lt. Col. Donald Taylor, 153rd AEG acting commander. The MAFFS C-130s began fighting the wildfires on June 25, with up to six airplanes simultaneously called up during this span. C-130s from the Wyoming Air Guard and Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd AW were also part of this force. Through Sept. 14, the MAFFS fleet released some 2.5 million gallons of fire retardant during 1,011 drops in 10 states, according to the group. That’s the second highest gallons-dispensed tally for a season in the MAFFS fleet’s history.