National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Single Engine Airtanker Manager

SEMG decorative banner: photos depicting SEMG position. SEMG Position Description: The Single Engine Airtanker Manager (SEMG) performs operational, contracting, and administrative duties associated with Single Engine Airtanker (SEAT) management. The SEMG reports to the Fixed-Wing Base Manager or, when assigned to an Incident Management Team, the Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS).

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SEMG Incident Position Description

The Single Engine Airtanker Manager provides oversight for all Singe Engine Airtanker (SEAT) base related activity. The SEMG supervises assigned SEAT base resources and reports to the Aviation Officer and/or the Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS) or other assigned supervisor such as an Airtanker Base Manager (ATBM). The SEMG works in the Air Operations functional area.
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Leadership Level 2, New Leader (Convey Intent)

  • For additional information review Level 2 description, expected behaviors and knowledge, suggested development goals, and self-study opportunities.

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 briefing from supervisor.
  • Establish agency contacts and identify chain of command that includes Fire Management Officer, aviation manager, dispatch, incident contact or ASGS, and procurement person.
  • Obtain briefing from ATBM/FWBM/SEMG or previous Ramp Manager (RAMP) as necessary.

Build the Team

  • Identify assigned resources and maintain accountability.
  • Assemble and validate readiness of assigned personnel and equipment.
  • Establish and communicate: chain of command; reporting procedures; risk management processes; radio frequency management.
  • Participate in operational briefings.
  • Obtain and distribute Incident Action Plans (IAPs), other relevant plans, maps, local area information.
  • Brief assigned personnel using Base Operations Plan, hot loading plan, ramp management plan, local aviation plan, and Storm Water Pollution and Prevention Plan (SWPPP) when in place.
  • Ensure adequate base staffing. Assigns tasks and specific duties to SEAT base personnel. If additional staffing is required, work with the dispatch center and local Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC) to place resource orders. Ensure that all personnel have been trained in their positions and in specific operations that are conducted at the base.

Supervise and Direct Work Assignments

  • 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 Single Engine Airtanker-Specific Duties

  • Request communications and operations support through the ASGS.
  • Utilize agency policies and guidance such as the NWCG Standards for Airtanker Base Operations, PMS 508, in decision making and planning.
  • Ensure ramp has adequate operations space for anticipated or expected activity, as well as day off/maintenance parking and transient aircraft.
  • Complete the SEAT Pre-use Information and Inspection Sheet prior to operations.
  • Ensure Resource Order the aircraft is hired under is faxed/emailed to the National SEAT Coordinator (NSECO) with the first daily Operations Worksheet.
  • Complete Pre-use Information and Inspection sheet for Contractor/Vendor equipment and personnel.
  • Ensure copies of the Daily Operations Worksheet are emailed to the NSECO and assigned Project Inspector for that aircraft by 1000 (MST) each day regardless of flight activity.
  • Conduct Initial pilot/Loader In-briefing with contractor personnel. Review Base Operations Plan and local SOPs.
  • Ensure the Read file is available for pilots to review and sign.
  • Identify needs regarding pit parking and rotation.
  • Ensure operations adhere to agency guidelines and regulations, as well as relevant national requirements.
  • Regulate all aircraft and motor vehicle movements as well as supervise agency and contractor personnel on and around the SEAT operations base. SEMGs are responsible for the safe operation of the ramp and loading pit area.
  • Ensure retardant quality in mixing and testing to specifications prior to loading of aircraft by monitoring the refractometer readings by the contractor or agency personnel (when appropriate) and conduct periodic assurance checks. Assurance checks will be documented and files maintained by SEMG.
  • Ensure that federally-contracted aircraft are only loaded with fire chemicals on the Qualified Products List (QPL) list. 
  • Ensure retardant, water supplies, and base logistical needs are adequate for anticipated fire activity.
  • Arrange for procurement/dispatch to order and secure necessary facilities, communications equipment, supplies, and services needed at the base.
  • Ensure the SEAT base daily log is completed accurately and timely by COB.
  • Coordinate all tactical aircraft missions with local dispatch, GACC, aerial supervision, and/or the ASGS. Obtains daily or more frequent briefings from one or all of these positions regarding mission priorities, operational, and tactical briefings.
  • Keep informed on predicted weather, fire behavior, and IAPs to ensure an adequate supply of Wildland Fire Chemicals (WFC) is available.
  • Enforce the National Airtanker Rotation Policy.
  • Determine the type of contract and appropriate Task Order the SEAT was ordered under and ensure compliance with contractual specifications.
  • Responsible for administration of SEAT base, retardant, aircraft contracts, and agreements. Brief incoming personnel and managers.
  • Ensure the official SEAT Base Operating Plan (SBOP) has been completed for the base and update as needed. If operating at a Large Airtanker Base obtain and review Airtanker Base Operations Plan (ABOP) for SEAT specific policy and procedures.
  • Ensure retardant lot acceptance and quality assurance procedures are followed by routing samples accordingly. Refer to National Technology and Development Center in Missoula.
  • Assist with maintenance and repairs of equipment and facility as appropriate.
  • Communicate any pertinent issues, provide documentation when necessary, and brief Base Manager. Work in a team environment to identify and resolve correction items.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • 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.
  • Conduct daily briefings and mission briefings with the pilots, other contract personnel, and government employees assigned to the operation. Document on Daily Ops Sheet.
  • Assist aircrews in arranging for transportation and lodging as appropriate.
  • Establish communication needs at the base of operations and ensure that all base radio equipment is maintained in working order. Communicate changes in frequencies as necessary. Properly utilize hand-held or base station radios to communicate with aircraft and SEAT base personnel.
  • Coordinate with Incident Management Team (IMT) aviation operations staff during large incidents to facilitate duty-day start time, frequencies, costs, and safety concerns.
  • Arrange for situations when SEAT aircraft are utilized by neighbor units. The originally assigned SEMG shall promptly contact the receiving SEMG/ATBM to discuss span of control and administrative duties.
  • Communicate and coordinate Aircrew and Base Personnel needs.
  • Provide Base Manager with resource needs within specified timeframe.
  • Follow established processes and chain of command for collecting, producing, and distributing information.
  • Ensure clear understanding of expectations and timely communication within and across ICS functional areas and chain of command.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary information with the following:
    • Base Manager
    • Parking Tenders
    • Flight Crews/Pilots
    • Mix Masters (MXMS) and Loaders
    • Fuelers/Fuel truck drivers
    • FBO when applicable
  • Communicate effectively using multichannel radios.
  • Use plain language and ICS terminology.
  • 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

  • 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
  • Utilize Aviation Safety Managers to assist with the risk management process and provide input into safety of operations.
  • 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 NWCG 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 Interagency Transport of Hazardous Materials Guide.
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of fatigue, illness, or injury. Mitigate appropriately.
  • Account for location, health, safety, and welfare of assigned personnel.
  • Submit accident/incident reports with pertinent forms (SAFECOM, SAFENET, agency-specific forms) through established chain of command.
  • 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 SEMG should discuss any concerns and possible corrective actions with local aviation management and/or the COR (as appropriate).
  • Supervise the SEMG (t) at all times. Situations where the SEMG (t) operates at a site away from the trainer are not permitted.
  • Coordinate efforts to ensure that all fuel and retardant spills, regardless of size, are properly cleaned according to the established base procedures or environmental and/or hazardous materials procedures.
  • Ensure safety management, to include risk assessments, and mitigations for the SEAT base.
  • Ensure that adequate fire, medical, and emergency equipment are readily available at the SEAT base and all personnel are trained appropriately.
  • 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 SEAT base safety and security plan, Incident/Accident Action Plan, and Aviation Mishap Response Guide and Checklist.
  • Request and post updated aerial hazard maps from the area forest, district, unit, or land managers.
  • Identify and establish Safety and Security needs, allowing only authorized personnel near ramp operations and aircraft.
  • 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.


  • Complete, authorize, ensure timeliness of, and route as required:
  • Complete required administrative and operational forms as required by local aviation management, and ensure that the contractor completes records and reports as required by the using agency.
  • Maintain time and use records on equipment, retardant, and personnel assigned to the SEAT base.
  • Complete the following documentation for each aircraft managed on a daily bases regardless if any flight time has occurred:
    • Aircraft Use Report (OAS-23E)
    • SEAT Daily Operations Worksheet
    • Cost Summary
    • SEAT Pilot Flight Time/Duty Day Cumulative Log
    • SEAT Support/Service Vehicle Driver Duty Log
  • Complete the Evaluation Report on Contractor Performance (AQD-136A) at the end of the assignment for each of the aircraft they have managed, and submit a copy to the Contracting Officer (CO) with a cc to the Administrative PI or COR.
    • NOTE: Copies should not be provided to the contractor. Contractor evaluations will be made available to the contractor once reviewed by the CO.
  • Document all aircraft maintenance on daily operations worksheet. Obtain Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR) authorization to put aircraft back in contract availability if unscheduled maintenance resulted in unavailability. Communicate with local aviation manager.
  • Ensure Incident Personnel Performance Rating, (ICS 225 WF) (NFES 001576) for all SEAT 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.
  • 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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