National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Operations Section Chief Type 3*

OPS3 decorative banner: photos depicting OPS3 position.

OPS3 Homepage Button Position Incident Position Description Button Position Reference Materials Button Position Qualification Requirements Button

The Operations Section Chief Type 3 (OPS3) manages incident operations through the operations section, establishing divisions, groups, and units as necessary to support operations. The OPS3 leads the development and execution of the tactical assignments documented in the Incident Action Plan (IAP). The OPS3 reports to the Incident Commander (IC) and works in the Operations functional area.

The OPS3 performs position duties commensurate with Type 3 incident complexity and characteristics stated in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book).

Operations Section Chief (OSC3) Operations Branch Director (OPBD) Structure Protection Specialist (STPS) Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS) Task Force Leader (TFLD) Crew Boss, Single Resource (CRWB) Heavy Equipment Boss, Single Resource (HEQB) Engine Boss, Single Resource (ENGB) Felling Boss, Single Resource (FELB) Firing Boss, Single Resource (FIRB) Helicopter Manager, Single Resource (HMGB) Operations Section Chief (OSC2) Staging Area Manager (STAM) Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD) Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS) Helibase Manager (HEBM) Deck Coordinator (DECK) Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO) Helicopter Crew Member (HECM) Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO) Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1) Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2) Strike Team Leader Crew (STCR) Strike Team Leader Heavy Equipment (STEQ) Strike Team Leader Engine (STEN) Operations Section Chief (OSC1) Advanced Faller (FAL1) Intermediate Faller (FAL2) Basic Faller (FAL3) Fixed Wing Base Manager (FWBM) Airtanker Base Manager (ATBM) Fixed Wing Parking Tender (FWPT) Mixmaster (MXMS) Retardant Crew Member (RTCM) Single Engine Air Tanker Manager (SEMG) Aircraft Time Keeper (ATIM) Ramp Manager (RAMP) Operations Section Chief (OSCC) Crew Representative (CREP)

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

Jan 2023


  • Incident Commander Complex (ICCI) and Operation Section Chief Complex (OSCC) to "These Positions Maintain Currency For OPS3."
  • Incident Commander Complex (ICCI) and Operation Section Chief Complex (OSCC) to "OPS3 Maintains Currency For These Positions."

Aug 2022

Added: Position-Specific publication added under Standards and References: NWCG Position-Specific Standards for Operations Section Chiefs, PMS 350-8.

Nov 2020

Added: Incident Position Description (IPD) approved.

Oct 2019

Added: to Qualification Requirements:  Note: Once qualified as DIVS or ICT3, the OPS3 qualification may be granted by the certifying official. Certification must be documented.

Oct 2018

Added: Type 3 All-Hazard Incident Management Team (O-305) to "Other Training Which Supports Development of Knowledge and Skills."

Oct 2015

Removed: Operations Section Chief Type 1 (OSC1) from the "OPS3 Maintains Currency for These Positions."

Removed: Safety Officer Type 1 (SOF1) from "These Positions Maintain Currency for OPS3" and from "OPS3 Maintains Currency for These Positions."

Oct 2014

Position created.

Type 3 Position standards are being introduced to provide an agreed to minimum standard for National Mobilization and to help develop local capability.  Currently the PSC3, LSC3, and FSC3 positions are utilized by FEMA and the Department of the Interior All Hazard qualification program.


Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

Please Provide Feedback

NWCG values your constructive input and we thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

Although contact information is optional, we hope that you provide a way for us to contact you in case we need clarification on your comment. If you would like to be contacted regarding your feedback, you must provide contact information. 

Due to recent hacking behavior, we are temporarily suspending our ability to upload documents.  If you need to attach additional information, please email the file to

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.