Nevada Air National Guard’s 152nd Airlift Wing will soon begin outfitting its C-130 aircraft with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS). The National Guard Bureau tapped the 152nd AW to take on the fire-fighting mission from North Carolina ANG’s 145th AW, which is slated to transition from C-130s to C-17s, after ranking all ANG C-130 units and finding its aircrews’ level of experience and location put it at the top of the list, National Guard Bureau spokesman Maj. Earl Brown told Air Force Magazine in an email. The 152nd airmen will begin training on the system with the US Forest Service on May 1, but the transfer won’t be complete for three to five fire seasons, according to a release. The 152nd AW will be one of four units using the MAFFS. Other units include the California ANG’s 146th AW, the Wyoming ANG’s 153rd Wing, and the Air Force Reserve’s 302nd AW. “This is a critical and challenging mission we’ve wanted for many years now,” said wing commander Col. Karl Stark. “We are more than c?apable and ready for the responsibility this mission brings.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.