Modular Airborne Fire Fighting
Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS) are portable 3,000 gallon fire retardant delivery systems that can be inserted into military C-130 transport planes, temporarily converting them into firefighting airtankers.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has 8 MAFFS capable C-130 aircraft designated for operational firefighting use, provided by:
146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme
152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard, Reno
153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard, Cheyenne
302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve, Peterson Air Force base, Colorado
When requested, MAFFS-equipped C-130’s help boost state wildfire suppression efforts when contracted airtankers are fully committed or not readily available.
Unlike CAL FIRE airtankers, MAFFS aircraft are not Initial Attack (IA) qualified, and require an Aerial Supervision Module/Lead Plane in order to conduct drops. This typically limits their use to established, extended attack incidents, which help keep CAL FIRE and other IA airtankers available to be quickly dispatched to new fires.