MAFFS operations resume

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C-130 Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) operations resumed yesterday morning, out of Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing joined the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Airlift Wing, stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, in supporting firefighting operations in the Rocky Mountain area.
MAFFS flights were placed on hold Sunday night, July 1, to give MAFFS personnel time to "reflect and reset" after the accident involving a C-130 from the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte, N.C.
A C-130 from the 145th Airlift Wing equipped with MAFFS crashed early evening July 1 while fighting fires in the Black Hills of South Dakota. That crash was the first in the 40-year history of the MAFFS program. Four people were killed and two were injured.
North Carolina's Air National Guard unit had sent out two C-130-H model aircraft along with support personnel and aircrew to fight the wildland fires June 30, 2012. Members returned home to Charlotte yesterday morning to be with friends and family and mourn the loss of their fellow Airmen.
Six C-130s equipped with MAFFS remain activated to support U.S. Forest Service. Two C-130-Js are from the 146th Airlift Wing in Channel Islands, Calif., two C-130-Hs are from the 153rd Airlift Wing in Cheyenne, Wyo., and two C-130-Hs are from the 302nd Airlift Wing in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The California wing has been supporting the U.S. Forest Service in fighting fires since June 30, 2012, in the Rocky Mountain region. Although it has been stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, it will relocate to Cheyenne, Wyo., tomorrow to continue to meet the needs of the U.S. Forest Service.
MAFFS is a joint Department of Defense and U.S. Forest Service program designed to provide additional aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private airtankers are no longer able to meet the needs of the forest service.
MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the U.S. Forest Service that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than 5 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.