MAFFS reservists, guardsmen arrive for training in Boise

BOISE, Idaho -- Approximately 70 Air Force reservists and two Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130 Hercules assigned to the 302nd Airlift wing arrived at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, April 19, 2017.

The reservists will take part in the U.S. Forest Service-hosted MAFFS annual certification and recertification training event in Boise, Idaho. Personnel from military units and wildland firefighting agencies from across the U.S. will take part in the aerial wildfire training and certification this week.

The training will include both classroom and flight certification sorties in preparation for potential wildland fire suppression missions in support of the U.S. Forest Service.

“We look forward to this joint training with our military and civilian partners,” said Col. Bryan Allen, MAFFS Air Expeditionary Group commander and 146th Operations Group commander, California Air National Guard. “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.

“Training collectively as a large group is vitally important as it ensures overall standardization of operations while continuing to build working relationships with the key players in the wildland firefighting community. It is rewarding as guardsmen and reservists to stand alongside our wildland firefighting agency partners, knowing that we help make a difference protecting our citizens and their property,” added Allen.

This is the 24th year Citizen Airmen from the Peterson-based wing will support the MAFFS mission.

The Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Airlift wing supports the MAFFS mission and will participate in this training along with the 146th AW, California Air National Guard, 152nd AW, Nevada ANG, and 153rd Wyoming ANG.

The role of MAFFS, as outlined in an agreement between the DOD and U.S. Forest Service, is to provide a surge capability that can be used to boost wildfire suppression efforts and maintain adequate initial attack capability when commercial airtankers are fully committed or not readily available.