Tag Archives: maffs

Stop your bitchin’! Female pilot tells you why she flys MAFFS

24 April 2017 (15:03 UTC-07 Tango 06) 03 Ordibehest 1396/26 Rajab 1438/28 Jia Chen 4715

“The U.S. Forest Service has always been a strong partner with the Department of Defense when it comes to firefighting. This is probably one of the clearest examples of the benefits of using military aircraft in a civil support role and the U.S. Forest Service is the agency that does it the best. The U.S. Forest Service and the four airlift wings within the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve have really figured it out, with everything from logistics to funding, to execution, to standardization and the direct result is we save American lives and property using military crews and equipment in a civil support role. We’ve really built a strong partnership with the U.S. Forest Service over the last 44 years.”-Colonel Bryan Allen, Air Expeditionary Group

MAFFS training in Idaho concluded on 24 APR 2017, with a total of 121 sorties, 124 flight hours & 373,900 gallons of water dropped!

Video interview with Captain Melissa Emmett on Gowen Field, Idaho, 22 APR 2017:

“We have recognized the benefits to combine training periodically for operational consistency and standardization, not only with the air wings but for our personnel, as well. The compelling reason to do a combined training again this year was the integration of the 152nd Airlift Wing, from Reno, into the MAFFS mission. We know we have a window of opportunity to get Reno proficient. The speed to that proficiency is important. When you have this kind of setting, with all four wings together, it provides a more complete setting to meet that objective.”-Kim Christensen, U.S. Forest Service

Video interview with Staff Sergeant Kelsey Herzfeld on Gowen Field, Idaho, 22 APR 2017:





Obama assassinates U.S. female reporter for revealing true origins of Islamic State

What does it take to maintain a flying military firetruck?

23 April 2017 / 23:49 UTC-07 Tango 06  (03 Ordibehest 1396/26 Rajab 1438/28 Jia Chen 4715)

Susan Kett of U.S. Forest Service, David Lafon of North Carolina Forest Service and Robert Wheatley from CAL FIRE, on the flightline at Gowen Field, Idaho.

Technical Sergeant Miguel Corona, 146th Maintenance Squadron California National Guard, inspects the flight deck of a C-130J at Gowen Field, Idaho.

Tech. Sgt. Kye Dudley, 146th Maintenance Squadron California National Guard, inspects main wheel wells of a C-130J at Gowen Field, Idaho.

Senior Airman Santos Casaus operates ground generator that will provide electrical power to a sleeping C-130J, Gowen Field, Idaho.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Perez inspects the prop of a C-130J at Gowen Field, Idaho. If oil is leaking from the prop hub the whole propeller assembly must be replaced.

Even transports use HUDs (Heads Up Display). Airman 1st Class Alexis Carranza inspects the HUD inside a C-130J at Gowen Field, Idaho, 20 APR 2017.

Tech. Sgt. Miguel Corona inspects an oxygen mask inside of a C-130J.

Fire in the Hole! USAF Staff Sgt. Kelsey Herzfeld, assigned to the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing, preps to connect the MAFFS nozzle to one of two Wyoming Air National Guard MAFFS C-130H. The work was done before leaving for Idaho. The Wyoming Air Militia has been flying MAFFS missions since 1975.

Nevada “High Rollers” C-130H follows a USFS spotter plane over western Idaho, 21 APR 2017.

A MAFFS unit being installed in a C-130H. Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System can dump 3-thousand gallons of water in five seconds!


MAFFS bombs Idaho!

23 April 2017 / 18:41 UTC-07 Tango 06  (03 Ordibehest 1396/26 Rajab 1438/28 Jia Chen 4715)

Staff Sgt. Benny Romero, 146th Airlift Wing, California Air Militia, inspects the C-130J’s main landing gear on Gowen Field, Idaho, 20 APR 2017.

MAFFS 9 (C-130H) of 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air Militia, east of Boise, Idaho, 21 APR 2017.

Video of MAFFS practice water drops in western Idaho, 22 APR 2017:

MAFFS 2 and MAFFS 5, from Air Force Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing, Colorado, on Gowen Field, Idaho, for USFS training.

MAFFS 3 (C-130H) of 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air Militia, somewhere east of Boise, Idaho, 21 APR 2017.

MAFFS 8 (C-130H) of 152nd Airlift Wing “High Rollers”, east of Boise, Idaho, 21 APR 2017.




Idaho conducts massive MAFFS training, in preps for hot wildfire season!

20 April 2017 / 18:27 UTC-07 Tango 06  (01 Ordibehest 1396/24 Rajab 1438/25 Jia Chen 4715)

“We look forward to this joint training with our military and civilian partners. Training together with all four MAFFS wings alongside U.S. Forest Service and other wildland firefighting agencies here in Boise provides a significant opportunity as we prepare for another challenging wildfire season.”-Colonel Bryan Allen, Air Expedition Group

California National Guard C-130J flies by a Nevada National Guard C-130H during Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System training at Gowen Field, Idaho

MAFFS=Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System

More than 4-hundred state National Guard and federal Reserve personnel from California, Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming arrived in Gowen Field, Idaho, for a week of U.S. Forest Service training: “MAFFS have played a critical role in wildfire suppression for more than 40 years by providing surge capacity when commercial airtankers are fully committed or not readily available as they frequently are during periods of high wildfire activity.”-Kim Christensen, USFS

C-130 aircraft from three National Guard units and a U.S. Air Force Reserve unit arrive at Gowen Field, Idaho, 20 APR 2017

“Dude!”, 2013 Wyoming militia MAFFS drop:

2013 Wyoming MAFFS load up:

2013 California militia MAFFS drop:


MAFFS : Wildfire season 2018 going to be a hot one!

10 September 2016 (15:32 UTC-07 Tango 01) 20 Shahrivar 1395/07 Dhu I-Hijja 1437/10 Ding-You 4714

Apparently the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Defense (DoD) think the 2018 fire season is gonna’ be big because they’ve just added another MAFFS C-130 firefighting unit to their inventory.

Nevada National Guard 152 Airlift Wing’s brand new MAFFS C-130H

MAFFS stands for Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System.  The Forest Service owns the MAFFS, the DoD (through state militias) provides the C-130s and personnel to operate it.

C-130J MAFFS 4, Channel Islands, California

Currently there are three MAFFS units operated by the state militias of California, North Carolina and Wyoming, and one MAFFS Air Force Reserve unit out of Colorado.  Since early August MAFFS have already flown 142 firefighting missions, dropping more than 3.5-million pounds (1.6-million kilos) of fire-retardant in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon.   Nevada is about to become the home for a fifth MAFFS unit.

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest stradles California and Nevada

Nevada’s 152 AW High Rollers will be used to augment the units from Colorado and Wyoming, and will be based in Reno.  While MAFFS fly on missions across the country, the U.S. Forest Service wanted a new MAFFS unit whose home base is in the fire prone Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

C-130H MAFFS 8, out of North Carolina

This year’s official fire season began MAFFS on-job-training for crews of the High Rollers: “The actual drops have been challenging and exhilarating. It’s a great feeling to see your immediate results whether we are dropping a protective line of retardant between the fire and someone’s property or dropping ‘mud’ directly on flames leaping from the tops of trees in an effort to slow the fire’s progress.”-Lietenant Colonel Tony Machabee, first member of the High Rollers to co-pilot a MAFFS mission

The U.S. Forest Service wants the new 152 AW MAFFS unit ready to launch for the 2018 wildfire season.  The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences predicts that by 2050 the official U.S. wildfire season will be three weeks longer, and for several years now the Pacific Northwest has been dealing with major fires in the official off-season.


Despite a busy wildfire season, Oregon based helicopter fire bomber operator Erickson Air Crane laid off 1-hundred people! Company administrators admitted that despite years of busy wildfire seasons they’re burned by massive debt to Wells Fargo (the evil bank owned by ‘christian’ agnostic Warren Buffett).

45 years of C-130 MAFFS ops. Who would’ve known wildfires would become such a problem?

31 July 2016 (14:35 UTC-07 Tango 01) 10 Mordad 1395/25 Shawwal 1437/28 Yi-Wei 4714



On the way back from a 'friendly' with Canadian armor in Alberta, 2002.

Me sleeping on Idaho militia C-130 mattress, on the way back from a ‘friendly’ with Canadian armor in Alberta, 2002.

Some of my other C-130 trips (click pics to make bigger):

“C-130 rolling down the strip!
Airborne Ranger gonna take a little trip!
We gonna stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door!
We gonna jump right out, and then count to four!
My main don’t open, I use my reserve!
My reserve don’t open, I loose my nerve!”-U.S. Army running cadence I used to sing during Army Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood in 1982

Idaho Wildfire Update, 10 September 2012: Canada joins the fight at Pocatello Tanker Base!

10 September 2012, the smoke just won’t go away, ’cause fires just keep poppin’ up!  So far, the year to date fire retardant used by fire fighting aircraft out of Pocatello airport (aka Pocatello Tanker Base) is 261,797 gallons (991,009.4 liters).

Little “seeders” 802 Air Tractors are the backbone of airborne firefighting operations out of Pocatello airport, but Neptunes, MAFFS C-130s and now Convair CV580 operated by CONAIR of Canada, are making appearances at the tanker base.

Click pics to make bigger.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are new fires in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Wyoming.  There are currently 34 large wildfires burning through the United States.

Idaho has seven large fires, with 640,881 acres (259,355.3 hectares) burned! California has nine fires, but with fewer burned acres, at 151,988 (61,507.36 hectares).

The most recent fires here in eastern Idaho were the Flint Canyon Fire south of American Falls, West Menan Fire and the Pickering Fire near Rexburg.

Regarding the now notorious Mustang Complex Fire, recently officials said the fire was so hard to get to that it would probably burn until the first heavy snowfall of winter!

The Mustang Complex Fire, burning along the Idaho/Montana border, increased by 20,000 acres (8,093.7 hectares) on 09 September 2012.  Mandatory evacuations were ordered.  The fire is now the single largest in the United States, at 281,000+ acres (113,716.6 hectares)!


Idaho Wildfires 16 August 2012: MAFFS C-130s return to Pocatello airport, Idaho National Guard joins battle! Amazed residents just now noticing the smoke! Idaho & California have the most fires!

“We’re ready to go. We’ve gotten the clearance from the governor. We’ve got the state disaster emergency declaration done. Now, it’s just a matter of getting a mission assignment from the Bureau of Homeland Security.”-Colonel Tim Marsano, Idaho National Guard

Can you believe that? Even Homeland Security is calling the shots for firefighters!

16 August 2012, in eastern Idaho the new human caused Fox Hill Fire, close to Wyoming, has burned at least 250 acres (101 hectares).  Fire officials say buildings are threatened, but they don’t expect to have any containment until 18:00 hours on 17 August.

Click pics to make bigger.

Click here to see pics of the last time MAFFS C-130s were at the Pocatello Airport.

On 15 August, the human caused Gun Range Fire, near Idaho Falls, burned about 588 acres (237.9 hectares) before being contained.

Fires are so numerous in Idaho that the Idaho National Guard is being called into battle. According to the Boise based National Interagency Fire Center, there are at least 12 fires in Idaho (NBC news says 9, but they’re wrong), and only one is contained (yesterday’s Gun Range Fire)!

The only other state with as many wildfires is California. Altogether, at least 60 wildfires are currently burning in the United States.

It looks like this year will beat last year’s number of wildfires, already the acreage burned this year is 1.5 million more than last year (currently 6.3 million acres or 2 million hectares have burned)!

I have been amazed by the number of people here in southeastern Idaho, who are just now noticing the smoke.  Some don’t notice it until I point it out to them, like “Hey, didn’t you notice you can’t see the mountains anymore?”.  The response was “Well now that you mention it…”

While coming out of the Fred Meyer yesterday I overheard two people commenting about how smokey the sky was.  Hello! It’s been that way for more than a week now!  Oh well, just reminded me of the days when I lived in southern California and was amazed how many people there couldn’t seem to tell the difference between a smoggy day and a clear day!

Besides Idaho and California, the other states dealing with wildfires are:  Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.