National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Standards for Airtanker Base Operations Unit

​Decorative banner: military personnel load retardant apparatus into back of C-130 airplane. A Air Attack Plane sits on tarmac ready for take off.

Mission Statement

The Standards for Airtanker Base Operations Unit (SABOU) manages the content of the NWCG Standards for Airtanker Base Operations, PMS 508, which promotes the safe, cost-efficient and effective aviation services in support of agency and interagency airtanker base operations.

Primary Objectives

Two ground crew technicians walk toward back of aircraft dragging refueling hose.

  • Define and standardize national interagency operating procedures at airtanker bases to ensure safe and efficient operations.
  • Support fire policy through interagency coordination.
  • Facilitate the exchange of personnel from all wildland fire suppression agencies during periods of high fire activity through standardization.
  • Provide a common, interagency approach in the State, Federal, and Tribal Government’s contract related responsibilities.
  • Provide common forms, checklists, orientation outlines, and special instructions for both contractor employees (retardant supplier personnel, pilots, mechanics) and government employees at airtanker bases.
  • Provide a framework which allows each airtanker base to provide a local base supplement with site specific guidance.



Proposed Change Request Form for NWCG Standards for Airtanker Base Operations, PMS 508

Submit to your agency representative on SABOU


Jared Bohrman
NWCG Coordinator: 
Dave Schultz
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