Firefighting upgrade: MAFFS II
By Staff Sgt. Natalie Stanley, 153rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2011
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- The Wyoming Air National Guard's Modular Airborne Firefighting System has recently received an update in the form of a new system called MAFFS II.
The Wyoming Air Guard, along with three other C-130 units throughout the United States, will now use the updated system in their forest firefighting efforts.
According to Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Peterson, 153rd Operations Group loadmaster, the MAFFS II has many advantages over the old system, including being 40 years newer. Peterson has been a loadmaster with the 153 OG since 1987 and has utilized MAFFS numerous times in his career, including the Yellowstone fires and overseas fires in Indonesia.
The unit has already received one new system and is awaiting their second; and once trained, in Boise, Idaho, the first week of May, members will be able to make use of the MAFFS II improvements.
In addition to being newer, some of the improvements include: avoiding corrosion to the aircraft by having one tube out the side for fire retardant dispersal versus two tubes out the back; higher possible drop levels and better, more accurate coverage levels due to the addition of updated computer systems.
The one thing that will not change with MAFFS II is the exchange training program. The most recent exchange was with the Brazilian Air Force, training locally with the 153rd OG in October 2010. By the end of this calendar year all MAFFS units will have converted to this new system, making the Air National Guard's aerial firefighting capabilities more effective at combating forest fires around the country and world.