The Transylvania Times -

Aerial Water Drops Planned For Wildfire Training


During the week of May 4, crew and pilots will train and prepare for the 2015 wildfire season in Greenville, S.C., with practice water drops on several local national forests. Since the 1970's, the US Air Force and US Forest Service have modified C-130 air tankers with specialized equipment to fight wildfires. During this year's training, up to 15 practice flights per day will be conducted; in which military C-130s will drop water on four target sites identified on the Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Sumter National Forest and Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. Training includes both classroom and flight training for military flight crews, civilian lead plane pilots and support personnel. The communities of Greenville and Spartanburg should expect to see an increase in C-130 aircraft traffic all week.

The Modular Airborne Firefighting System, or MAFFS for short, was developed to provide precise water or retardant drops in support of wildfire suppression operations. This system has become an important part of the agencies tactics used to reduce the spread of wildfire and protect fire fighters. The Department of Defense provides the C-130 H and J model aircraft, flight crews, and maintenance and support personnel to fly the missions. The US Forest Service provides the MAFFS equipment, ground crews and supplies the retardant.

There are a total of eight MAFFS ready for operational use this year, and each one is installed into an air tanker at the beginning of the season. The Air National Guard units who provide assistance are the 153rd Airlift Wing from Cheyenne, Wyoming; the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte, North Carolina; the 146th Airlift Wing from Port Hueneme, California; and the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve from Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The training in Greenville involves the 145th Airlift Wing from Charlotte and the 153rd Airlift Wing from Cheyenne. More than 150 personnel assist in the exercise during the week-long training.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 08/26/2019 14:20