Mesa Gateway Airtanker Base to host annual National Aerial Supervision Training Academy

Release Date: Feb 23, 2024

Contact(s): Amanda Oliver, (530) 260-6322


PHOENIX, Feb. 22, 2024 – The people of the Queen Valley area will notice an increase in air traffic due to the annual National Aerial Supervision Training Academy at Phoenix Interagency Fire Center, Feb. 25 – March 15, flights may occur every day except Sundays.

The academy brings wildfire aviation personnel from the Forest Service, Bureau of land Management, multiple states and government contractors to train together ahead of the wildfire season. Participants range from seasoned and new trainees in the aerial firefighting industry.

The academy is in its 10th year and has proven to be the best method to train aerial firefighting specialist in new skills, receive industry updates, learn about best practices and for pilots to hone their flying skills.

There will be additional interaction for participants with C-130 aircraft coming from the Nevada Air National Guard (152nd Airlift Wing) and the California Air National Guard (146th Airlift Wing) that are a part of Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS).

MAFFS are portable fire-retardant delivery systems that can be inserted into military C-130 aircraft without major structural modifications to convert them into airtankers when needed. There are currently eight MAFFS ready for operational use.

For additional information about the academy contact Rocco Terracciano the Aviation Officer for the Tonto National Forest at 951-204-8461.

To get the most up-to-date information about the Tonto, follow us on X @TontoForest or on Facebook @TontoNationalForest.