S-378, Aerial Supervision, 2009

Decorative banner: Three photos of wildland fire air operations. A single engine airtanker drops a load of retardant on a hillside. A firefighter holds a handheld radio while looking at camera as helicopter departs in distance. Four firefighters listen to a helitack crew at the side of a helicopter..

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This course is designed to meet the training needs of an Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS), Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO), lead plane pilot, and Aerial Supervision Module (ASM) crewmember as outlined in the Interagency Aerial Supervision Guide (IASG), PMS 505. Topics include aerial supervision program introduction, aerial supervision roles and responsibilities, administration, training, certification, currency, policies, incident aircraft, suppressants and retardants, aerial supervision mission procedures, aerial firefighting strategy and tactics, incident aircraft operations, all-hazard incidents, and safety.


  • Describe procedures for safe and effective air traffic control over an incident.
  • Describe efficient procedures for utilization of aircraft to meet incident objectives.
  • Describe procedures for effective coordination between aviation and ground forces.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as aerial supervisor in Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS), Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO), lead plane, or Aerial Supervision Module (ASM) crewmember. 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Students must meet the position prerequisites for their respective target group positions above.
  • Satisfactory completion of pre-selection assessment and pre-course work.

Session Offerings

Sessions of this course may be available in the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Enrollment requires an account. Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content. To search for a specific course, use the FIND LEARNING menu at the top of the page, then select UPCOMING COURSES. To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific GEOGRAPHIC AREA information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.



S-378 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work 3
Pre-selection assessment 1
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 36-40
Total Hours 40-44

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

Lead instructor must be a qualified Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS).

Unit instructor cadre should include a lead plane pilot, airtanker pilot, Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO), state/regional aviation safety manager and/or Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD), Operations Section Chief (OSC), and an Incident Commander Type 3 (ICT3).

See NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, Instructor Standards for more information.

Certification Date:


Previous Certification Dates:

  • 2003-11
  • 1999-02


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Functional Area: 
Air Operations
Required For: 
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

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