August 3, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) introduced the Modernizing Aerial Fire Fighting Support (MAFFS) for the National Guard Act.
This bipartisan legislation would require the U.S. Air Force to include the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) mission as part of the criteria for allocating the C-130J aircraft. This criteria change would make it more likely for the Air National Guard in Wyoming and Nevada, which have MAFFS missions, to be selected by the Air Force to upgrade their aging C-130H fleets with more capable C-130Js.
Having C-130Js will have a substantial impact on readiness and firefighting capabilities in Wyoming, Nevada, and other states across the West facing the risks of constant wildfires.
“With the ongoing threat of wildfires across the Rocky Mountain West, having access to C-130J aircraft in Wyoming is more critical than ever,” said Senator Barrasso. “The C-130J air tanker is one of the best tools we have to quickly and efficiently suppress wildfires. Our bipartisan legislation will require the Air Force to use the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System mission as a C-130J basing requirement. By expanding access to this vital air tanker, we ensure Wyoming and other western states have every advantage possible when fighting wildfires.”
“Western states like Nevada are facing more severe and frequent wildfires, forcing the Nevada Air National Guard to fly in some of the hottest temperatures, highest elevations, and most challenging mountainous environments in the country,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m introducing this bipartisan legislation to make it more likely for the Nevada Air National Guard to receive the aircraft they need to battle ever-worsening wildfires out West.”