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From the MAFFS Units: The Wyoming and North Carolina Air National Guard crews flying MAFFS-equipped C-130s (see above) to help fight the California wildfires last week flew 12 missions, dropping 32,400 gallons of fire retardant, according to an Oct. 26 report by TSgt. Mike Smith. The high winds that spread the wildfires also hampered their operations because the winds disperse the retardant before it hits the ground. Joining the ANG crews were Air Force Reserve Command airmen from Colorado. Each group contributed two MAFFS-equipped C-130s and backup aircrews. Learning to fly the firefighting missions is not easy, as 1st Lt. Jody Ritchie reports, first there's the low altitude, and then there's the violent updrafts and downdrafts caused by the fire, not to mention the aircraft handling variations as it sheds thousands of pounds of fire retardant. Nonetheless, Lt. Col. Dave Condit, AFRC's MAFFS coordinator, says, "We've got people that wait for years to get an opportunity to get certified for this mission."