The Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing in Cheyenne recently received its first new-generation Modular Airborne Firefighting System, MAFFS II, for its C-130s. Thanks to a single pressure-fed nozzle ducted through the aft paratroop door, MAFFS II achieves denser coverage from higher altitude than its predecessor. It’s able to drench a 100-foot-wide, quarter-mile-long path from 150 feet above ground. Beyond accuracy, ejecting a pressurized jet of retardant away from the aircraft prevents fuselage corrosion, while the self-pressurizing system cuts the amount of ground equipment needed to prep the aircraft. The Air Force aims to equip all of its Air Guard and Air Force Reserve Command aerial firefighting units with MAFFS II. The 153rd AW is currently awaiting its second MAFFS II kit. The California Air Guard’s 146th AW was the first unit to transition. (Cheyenne report by SSgt. Natalie Stanley) (For more background on MAFFS II, see US Northern Command release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.