Military Integration into Aerial Firefighting Operations
For over five decades, the US Department of Agriculture and US Department of the Interior have been requesting and receiving Department of Defense (DoD) supplemental firefighting support in the form of equipment and personnel during the peaks of wildfire activity. As technology and tactics have evolved, DoD capabilities have become more adept at offering a wider variety of critical tools to Incident Commanders, especially from the airborne platforms, to include suppression from Large Air Tankers and Helicopters, along with imaging, fire mapping, and command and control.
Much of the work and decisions for the DoD are made at the strategic planning level that vet appropriate partnerships and capabilities. However, this talk will focus primarily on the tactical integration of those platforms and personnel into the Incident Command System, and highlight the unique strengths and challenges of military platforms working side-by-side with local, state, and federal firefighting aircraft.