Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) applauded passage of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference agreement, which authorizes funding she strongly advocated for to upgrade the current Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS II) – which is nearing the end of its life cycle – to the Improved MAFFS (iMAFFS).
“Ventura County has seen its share of wildfires that take lives, upend families, and destroy property, yet the airborne firefighting system we use is 20 years old. This funding to upgrade the system will better prepare the National Guard for its role in firefighting,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “With one of four systems located in Ventura County, it also continues to make clear that Naval Base Ventura Country is critically important to not only our national defense, but to fighting the increasing number of wildfires we’ve seen in recent years.”
Congresswoman Brownley also thanked Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) for her assistance in including the iMAFFS provision in the NDAA.
“I am very grateful to Congresswoman Davis for her work on the House Armed Services Committee to ensure that our state has the upgraded resources we need to adequately combat the wildfires that are becoming all too common in our region,” continued Brownley.
“When it comes to fighting wildfires, which have become all too frequent in California and San Diego, we need the latest tools at our disposal,” said Congresswoman Susan Davis. “This critical upgrade to iMAFFS will give our National Guard the resources it will need to protect life and property. It was a pleasure working with Rep. Brownley and I thank her for her continued leadership on this issue.”
The conference report that accompanies the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also includes language limiting the President’s ability to reprogram military construction funds. In 2019, President Trump raided the military construction accounts for his failed border wall, including taking $8 million intended for a C-130J simulator for the 146th Airlift Wing.
“The 146th Airlift Wing utilizes MAFFS units on the C-130J. The project to build the C-130J flight simulator was intended to help the airwing with training, reducing training costs while also ensuring that its pilots and crew could continue to provide critical firefighting capabilities, disaster response, and humanitarian relief efforts,” said Brownley. “In Congress, I will continue to work with my colleagues and with President-elect Biden to ensure the 146th has the training resources necessary to do its job effectively.”