CHEYENNE – One Wyoming Air National Guard C-130 and crew has been activated to assist with fires in Colorado and the region. It will leave Cheyenne this afternoon (July 5).
The aircraft, equipped with the U.S. Forest Service’s Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System will be stationed out of Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, for at least the next five days.
It will join three other MAFFS-equipped C-130s, two from the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing and one from the Air National Guard’s 152nd Airlift Wing, for this mission.
The Department of Defense has eight MAFFS-equipped C-130s operated by four military airlift wings: 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard; the 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard, 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard; and the 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado (Air Force Reserve Command).
MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.
The DOD, through U.S. Northern Command, provides unique military support to firefighting efforts when requested by the National Interagency Fire Center and approved by the Secretary of Defense. These diverse mission assets are prepared to respond quickly and effectively to protect lives, property, critical infrastructure and natural resources, and can include, but are not limited to, MAFFS, military helicopters and ground forces capable of supporting the firefighting efforts.