Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 302nd Airlift Wing arrived at one of the nation’s biggest air shows today to showcase the wing’s special aerial firefighting mission.

A six-member aircrew, supported by two maintenance technicians, will perform daily demonstrations of the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin, July 23-28.

Lt. Col. Bradley Ross, the 302nd AW’s MAFFS operations chief, says the air show provides an opportunity for communities outside the local area to see what a MAFFS drop looks like first hand and get a better understanding of what the mission is.

The MAFFS mission is a joint effort between the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Defense to suppress wildland fires. The 302nd AW is the only Air Force Reserve unit tasked with this special mission. There are also three Air National Guard wings that share this mission: Nevada’s 152nd Airlift Wing, California’s 146th Airlift Wing and Wyoming’s 153rd Airlift Wing.

The MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system, owned by the U.S. Forest Service, which can discharge up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in less than 10 seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long and 100 feet wide.  The system can then be reloaded in less than 12 minutes on the ground.

This story was originally prepared for distribution by the 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Unit.

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