National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Unmanned Aircraft System, Data Specialist

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The Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Data Specialist collects, stores, and disseminates data and intelligence collected by agency and contracted Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for wildland fire incidents. The UASD works in conjunction with an Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot (UASP) or Unmanned Aircraft System, Manager (UASM) to provide tactical and strategic information for incident command teams.  The UASD works in the Air Operations functional area.

All UAS missions shall be conducted in accordance with the NWCG Standards for Fire Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations, PMS 515, and applicable federal/state policies [e.g., Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Interior (DOI), United States Forest Service (USFS), etc.].

Unmanned Aircraft System, Pilot (UASP) Unmanned Aircraft System, Manager (UASM) Unmanned Aircraft System, Data Specialist (UASD) Unmanned Aircraft System, Module Leader (UASL)

The Forest Service and Department of Interior are enabled by Administratively Determined Pay Plans (AD Pay Plans) to hire persons for temporary duration for the following reasons:

  1. To cope with a sudden and unexpected emergency caused by a fire, or extreme fire potential, flood, storm, or any other all-hazard emergency that threatens damage to federally protected property, has the potential to cause loss of life, serious injury, public health risk, or damage to natural or cultural resources unless brought under immediate control.
  2. To provide emergency assistance to States under formalized agreements.
  3. To meet mission assignments issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Business Committee (IBC) reviews positions annually and establishes pay rate classifications for each position.

For more information on the AD Pay Plans, go to

Apr 2021

Added: Incident Position Description (IPD) approved.

Nov 2018

Position created.


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