Channel Islands Air National Guard Station participating in airborne firefighting training this week
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – The California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing alongside federal wildland agencies will conduct their annual training for Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) from May 8 to May 12.
This week's MAFFS training exercises will mark 50 years of interagency partnerships amongst the Department of Defense, the USDA's Forest Service, the DOI's Bureau of Land Management, and other federal and state agencies.
“The enduring partnership between the Forest Service, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve under the MAFFS program is truly unique and has demonstrated repeatedly over the past 50 years our commitment to supporting the people of our States and nation in times of natural disaster,” said Col. Matthew Glynn, Air Expeditionary Group Commander for the Department of Defense. “We are eager to continue this support for the 2023 wildland firefighting season and stand ready to respond when called upon.”
Four military C-130 Hercules aircraft will be used during the training as well as several lead planes.
Each C-130 can be equipped with the Forest Service's MAFFS, which can drop up to 3000 gallons of fire retardant in less than ten seconds across a quarter-mile line.
“The MAFFS program is a tremendous example of how the USDA Forest Service and other wildland fire agencies work cooperatively with the military,” said Kim Christensen, Deputy Assistant Director for Operations for the U. S. Forest Service. “We conduct an annual training and certification exercise to ensure that MAFFS can be integrated into fire suppression operations in a safe, effective, and seamless manner. It helps ensure our mutual preparedness for the 2023 Fire Year.”
This training session will practice dropping water in remote portions of the Angeles National Forest. People in the area are likely to see low-flying C-130 aircraft as well as smaller lead planes.
For more information about the MAFFS program, check out the U. S. Forest Service information page on the program here.