AFNORTH deploying personnel, aircraft for California wildfires

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | October 24, 2007

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Air Forces Northern is overseeing the deployment of six C-130 aircraft capable of transporting and employing the Military Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), along with appropriate command and control and support personnel to support and assist emergency response efforts in Southern California.

MAFFS is an emergency capability designed to supplement commercial airtanker support of wild fires through airborne delivery of fire retardant that is dropped accurately and safely on designated targets.

Two MAFFS aircraft from the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard; two from the 302nd Airlift Wing, United States Air Force Reserve, Peterson AFB, Colo; and two MAFFS aircraft from the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard, will arrive at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Calif., today. The aircraft will be ready to fly missions by Wednesday.

AFNORTH provides a full spectrum of Air Force air and space capabilities and conducts defense support for civil authorities to assist civil authorities during emergencies, natural or man-made disasters, and other approved activities. United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has also designated AFNORTH as the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) that will provide command and control coordinating authority over the MAFFS. The JFACC’s objective is to rapidly and effectively support USNORTHCOM’s efforts to the National Interagency Firefighting Center (NIFC) in order to mitigate the effects of wildland fires.