Fixed Wing Base Manager

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FWBM Incident Position Description

The Fixed Wing Base Manager provides supervision and coordination at a fixed-wing base. The FWBM reports to either the local aviation officer, incident air operations, dispatch center manager, or Airtanker Base Manager (ATBM) as appropriate. The FWBM works in the Air Operations functional area.
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Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment.
  • Travel to and check in at assignment.
  • Review Base Operations Plan and obtain initial briefing from supervisor.
  • Establish agency contacts and identify chain of command that includes Fire Management Officer, aviation officer, dispatch, incident contact or Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS), and procurement person.
  • Obtain briefing from supervisor as necessary.

Build the Team

  • Identify assigned resources and maintain accountability.
  • Assemble assigned personnel and equipment.
  • Establish and communicate: chain of command; reporting procedures; risk management processes; radio frequency management.
  • Participate in operational briefings.
  • Ensure adequate staffing.
  • Supervise and assign specific duties to Ramp Manager (RAMP), Fixed Wing Parking Tenders (FWPT), drivers, and other base personnel.
  • Ensure that all personnel have been trained in their positions and in specific operations that are conducted at the airtanker base including procedures such as hot loading, single engine airtanker operations, simultaneous fueling and loading, etc.

Lead, Supervise, Direct

  • Model leadership values and principles. Provide positive influence. Emphasize teamwork.
  • Establish and communicate objectives, priorities, work assignments, and performance expectations.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make more informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
  • Adjust actions based on changing information and evolving situation awareness. Develop and implement contingency plans. Communicate changing conditions to assigned resources and supervisor.
  • Ensure Daily operational objectives and performance standards are met.
  • Monitor performance and provide immediate and regular feedback to assigned personnel.

Perform Fixed Wing Base Manager-Specific Duties

  • Request communication and operations support through the ASGS.
  • Utilize agency policies and guidance in decision making and planning.
  • Develop or update a local base operations plan providing for and enforcing accountability, safety, and security measures for personnel and resources.
  • Order and secure all necessary facilities, supplies, and services required at the operating base.
  • Ensure adequate space for ramp operations
  • Establish layout of base operations fueling area, aircraft parking, vehicle parking, pilot/crew rest area, storage, and applicable expansion space.
  • Secure a priority list of air missions and schedule of flights.
  • Obtain pertinent information on each aircraft assigned to the base.
  • Ensure that a manifest is prepared for passengers and cargo. Distribute to appropriate personnel.
  • Designate safe zones for Ground Support Equipment (GSE). Ensures all airtanker base personnel are trained in identifying properly secured GSE.
  • Work in a team environment to identify and resolve correction items. Provide for all logistical needs of the base, personnel, and contractors.
  • Identify staging areas for personnel, crews, and cargo.
  • Provide logistical support for personnel and crews.
  • Manifest personnel, crews, and cargo boarding contracted transport flights.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Conduct briefings with base personnel and contractors.
  • Serve as liaison to airport management, federal, state, and local officials, the military, aircraft vendors, contractors, and Fixed Based Operators (FBOs), etc.
  • Communicate aircraft and staffing status to dispatch on a daily basis.
  • Communicate and coordinate aircrew and base personnel needs. Assist aircrews in arranging for transportation and lodging as appropriate.
  • Coordinate all flights with the dispatch office and assists with providing appropriate aircraft to meet mission requirement.
  • Establish contacts and develop good working relationships with local agency, aircrew, and contractor personnel in order to provide safe and efficient base operations.
  • Ensure communications are established and there is information flow between the base, aircraft, and dispatch office.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary information with the following:
    • ATBM/Single Engine Airtanker Manager (SEMG)
    • RAMP/FWPTs
    • Flight Crews/Pilots
    • Fuelers/Fuel truck drivers
    • FBO when applicable
  • Ensure important operational information such as roll times, aircraft availability, days off, and rotation is communicated with base personnel, local management, dispatch, and other bases as appropriate.
  • Provide related information on daily aircraft status or changes; maintain contact with Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) or Project Inspector (PI) for the aircraft.
  • Facilitate After Action Reviews (AARs) and discuss improvement opportunities including adjustments in operations with appropriate personnel.

Manage Risk

  • Identify risks or hazards utilizing the SMS and hazard assessment tools for Fixed-Wing Base Operations, and base support positions.
  • Apply Aviation Safety & Risk Management Systems that includes Policy, Risk Management, Assurance, and Promotion.
  • Apply principles of Operational Risk Management:
    • Identify and assess risks or hazards
    • Develop controls or mitigations
    • Make Risk decisions, or elevate as appropriate to the next management level
    • Implement controls or mitigations
    • Supervise and Evaluate
  • Ensure adequate quantities of required personal protective equipment (PPE) are available and order additional PPE as necessary.
  • Plan for emergencies. Ensure that assigned resources are prepared to execute the Interagency Aviation Mishap Response Guide and Checklist, PMS 503. Ensure familiarity with medical responders, communication procedures, and transportation plan.
  • Ensure hazardous materials are transported in accordance with the NWCG Standards for Transportation of Hazardous Materials, PMS 513.
  • Conduct safety briefing that includes risk assessment and hazard analysis for Fixed-Wing Base Operations.
  • Request and post updated aerial hazard maps from area forest, district, unit, or land managers.
  • Submit agency Incident/Accident Reports and SAFECOMs per agency policy.
  • Provide on the spot correction of safety concerns and issues.
  • Coordinate with the agency safety representative to establish and maintain the base safety plan, as required, to be compliant with agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
  • Identify and follow agency policy and guidance as it relates to the security of the base facility.
  • Coordinate and manage a safe flight environment that includes sterile cockpit compliance.
  • Schedule and manage work to ensure flight and/or duty hours of pilots, mechanics, and fuel truck drivers are not exceeded.
  • Ensure only authorized personnel and activities are allowed on the ramp.
  • Evaluate personal safety considerations and attitudes of personnel in regard to risk management when conducting base operations. This may include but is not limited to fatigue, dehydration, distractions, qualifications, and training.
  • Obtain or complete facilities security assessment for hosting agency base of operations.
  • Develop and implement accountability, safety and security measures for personnel and resources and is thoroughly familiar with and enforces all safety requirements for their work area.
  • Develop, update, or review, a mishap response plan; ensure plan is posted.
  • Brief personnel on crash rescue and mishap response procedures for the base.
  • Ensure personnel are trained in the maintenance and use of fire extinguishers and procedures to be followed in the event of a fire emergency on the ramp.
  • Coordinate efforts to ensure that all fuel spills, regardless of size, are properly cleaned according to the established base procedures or environmental and/or hazardous materials procedures.
  • Coordinate with the local Safety Officer to enforce compliance with all agency, local, and state health and safety requirements. Responsible for the maintenance and update of the base safety and security plan, Incident/Accident Action Plan, and Interagency Aviation Mishap Response Guide and Checklist, PMS 503.
  • Identify and ensure spill containment, cleanup, and disposal procedures are followed by ramp and contractor personnel. Notify appropriate contacts.
  • Monitor ramp operations for safety and efficiency.
  • Monitor personnel working on the ramp for fatigue, stress, and distraction.
  • Prepare and respond to emergencies as training and qualifications allow.
  • Resolve all safety concerns encountered in any aspect of aircraft, ramp, and/or personnel operations. By initiating corrective actions, these risks can be mitigated and/or removed. The FWBM should discuss any concerns and possible corrective actions with local aviation management.


  • Ensure all training is documented for base personnel. Identify and correct training deficiencies.
  • Crew Time Report (CTR), SF-261 (Watch: How to correctly fill out a CTR)
  • Maintain records on aircraft, equipment, and personnel assigned to the base.
  • Administer fixed-wing rental agreements and Call-When-Needed (CWN) contracts.
  • Ensure proper payment document is completed as per contracting agency.
  • Utilize computer for daily contract documentation, spreadsheets, various websites, payment procedures, data input, and Automated Flight Following (AFF).
  • Develop, update, or review, a mishap response plan; ensure plan is posted.
  • Collect and record accurate daily flight and cost data, landing fees, and retardant use. Submit required forms to the appropriate personnel by close of business (COB) daily. Maintain all use records per agency guidelines.
  • Ensure start and stop times are being recorded accurately by base personnel.
  • Provide related information on daily aircraft status or changes; maintain contact with COR or PI for the aircraft.
  • Maintain the base activity daily log.
  • Ensure Incident Personnel Performance Rating, ICS 225WF (NFES 001576) for all airtanker base support personnel (qualified or trainee) on assignment are completed and sent to home unit.


  • Anticipate demobilization, identify excess resources, coordinate with assigned resources to prepare demobilization schedule.
  • Plan for demobilization. Brief assigned resources on demobilization procedures and responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures are followed.
  • Restore base areas to pre-incident or pre-season condition.
  • Ensure equipment and supplies are returned to appropriate unit. 
  • Supervise the demobilization of personnel, equipment, and supplies.
  • Check out with appropriate agency or incident personnel prior to departure and complete closeout/debriefing.


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