Eastern Carolina played host to a one-of-a-kind fire fighting drill that has never been performed in North Carolina.
Forest Service workers from across our state gathered in Kinston Wednesday. They received training in Modular Airborne Fire Fight Systems, better known as MAFFS.
The U.S. Forest Service and Air National Guard out of Charlotte brought in a C-130 Hercules airplane, outfitted with special equipment that drops flame retardant on wildfires.
The military air crews coordinate closely with forestry crews on the ground when targeting the edges of large-scale fires. It takes years of training for both groups to qualify for the MAFFS program.
Each drop can spread 3,000 gallons of retardant over a 100-foot wide and 1/4-mile long stretch of land. Airmen we spoke with say this type of training is just as important as preparing for combat missions.