Friday, July 24, 2009

Air Force Reserve to present aerial demo using new airborne firefighting system at EAA AirVenture

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, C-130 Hercules is scheduled to present a live-water, aerial demonstration drop upon its arrival to the 2009 EAA AirVenture on Monday, July 27 at Oshkosh, Wis. #OSH09

The water drop demo will showcase the capabilities of the U.S. Forest Service’s new Military Airborne Firefighting System equipment used by the Air Force Reserve. The ‘MAFFS II’ unit uses state-of-the-art technology which features several improvements to the aging legacy MAFFS system. MAFFS II enables C-130 tactical cargo aircraft to conduct more efficient firefighting operations from the air. This is the first year Air Force Reserve aircrews and maintainers have been certified with, and will use the new equipment.

“This equipment is the future of aerial firefighting,” said Lt. Col. David Condit, 302nd Airlift Wing Chief of Safety and MAFFS program manager.

C-130s equipped with MAFFS can drop up to 3,000 gallons of retardant to contain wildland fires in just a few seconds. There are eight MAFFS units available for use with military C-130 aircraft. The military aircraft are activated through U.S. Northern Command, based on an agreement with the Department of Agriculture.

The 302nd Airlift Wing is the only Air Force Reserve unit tasked with the MAFFS mission, making up for 25 percent of the overall military C-130 MAFFS capability. The 302nd AW takes on the MAFFS responsibility, while continuing to perform its primary mission of tactical airlift and airdrop. Additional MAFFS capability comes from three Air National Guard C-130 units.

MAFFS, a cooperative effort between the military and civilian land management agencies, provides additional airborne capability during periods of high wildland fire activity when civilian airborne fire fighting assets are exhausted. Efforts are directed to the protection and safeguarding of people and property anywhere in the United States throughout the annual fire season.

For more information on the water drop demo or for media wishing to interview MAFFS C-130 aircrew members prior to their departure from Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. or at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. from July 27 to July 29, call the 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at 719-556-4117 or the 24-hour public affairs cell phone at 719-339-1000.

Note: As of Friday, 24 Jul 09, the MAFFS II water drop is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Monday, July 27. The MAFFS II water drop demo is subject to change due to weather or mission requirements.

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