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National Interagency Fire Center

Military Use
Handbook
July 2006
NFES 2175

This publication was produced by the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC), located at the
National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho.

Additional copies of this publication may be ordered from:
National Interagency Fire Center
Great Basin Cache Supply Office
3833 S. Development Avenue
Boise, ID 83705
Ordering instructions can be found at http://www.nwcg.gov/pms/pubs/catalog/orderform2005.pdf.
The NFES number for this publication is NFES 2175.

This publication is also available on the Internet at http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/logistics/references.htm.

MILITARY USE HANDBOOK
2006
INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... v
CHAPTER 10 – GENERAL .......................................................................................................... 1
10.1
Purpose ................................................................................................................. 1
10.2
Overview ............................................................................................................... 1
10.3
Ordering Requirements and Procedures............................................................... 1
10.4
Authorities/Responsibilities.................................................................................... 2
10.5
Billing Procedures ................................................................................................. 3
CHAPTER 20 – RESOURCE ORDERING PROCEDURES FOR MILITARY ASSETS............... 5
20.1
Ordering Process .................................................................................................. 5
20.2
Military Follow-up Orders ...................................................................................... 7
20.3
NIFC Contracted Commissary Services/Army and
Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)................................................................... 7
20.4
Demobilization Procedures ................................................................................... 7
CHAPTER 30 – NIFC ADVANCE PARTY ................................................................................... 9
30.1
General Briefing .................................................................................................... 9
30.2
Positions and Qualifications ................................................................................ 10
30.3
Responsibilities ................................................................................................... 11
30.4
Common Mobilization Issues and Questions ...................................................... 12
CHAPTER 40 – TRAINING ........................................................................................................ 13
40.1
General................................................................................................................ 13
40.2
Training Cadre Support at the Military Installation............................................... 13
40.3
Organization and Staffing .................................................................................... 14
40.4
Qualifications and Responsibilities ...................................................................... 14
40.5
Training Equipment and Supplies........................................................................ 20
40.6
Facilities and Equipment Requirements at the Military Installation ..................... 20
40.7
Sequence of Events ............................................................................................ 20
40.8
Aviation Training.................................................................................................. 20
CHAPTER 50 – MILITARY OPERATIONS ................................................................................ 21
50.1
General................................................................................................................ 21
50.2
Chain of Command ............................................................................................. 21
50.3
Discipline and Conduct........................................................................................ 21
50.4
Unit Pride............................................................................................................. 21
50.5
Protocol ............................................................................................................... 22
50.6
Organizational Cross Reference ......................................................................... 22
50.7
Daily Reporting.................................................................................................... 23
50.8
Military Supply System ........................................................................................ 23
50.9
Military Boots ....................................................................................................... 23

i

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Introduction

CHAPTER 60 – POSITION DESCRIPTIONS AND TASK LISTS.............................................. 25
60.1
Battalion Military Liaison...................................................................................... 25
60.2
Battalion Military Liaison-Deputy ......................................................................... 27
60.3
Strike Team Leader/Military ................................................................................ 28
60.4
Military Crew Advisor........................................................................................... 29
60.5
Incident Commander ........................................................................................... 30
60.6
Logistics Section Chief ........................................................................................ 32
60.7
Operations Section Chief .................................................................................... 33
60.8
Planning Section Chief ........................................................................................ 34
60.9
Finance Section Chief ......................................................................................... 35
CHAPTER 70 – AVIATION ........................................................................................................ 37
70.1
General................................................................................................................ 37
70.2
Categories of Use................................................................................................ 38
70.3
Mobilization of Military Aircraft............................................................................. 38
70.4
Operations and Safety......................................................................................... 39
70.5
Military Pilot Training and Qualifications.............................................................. 41
70.6
Minimum Required Agency Positions to Manage Military Aircraft. ...................... 43
70.7
Military Aviation Organization .............................................................................. 48
70.8
Aircraft Security, Maintenance and Refueling ..................................................... 51
70.9
Aircraft Equipment Requirements, Description and Specifications ..................... 52
70.10
Agency Mobilization Checklist for Military Helicopters ........................................ 53
CHAPTER 80 – COMMUNICATIONS ........................................................................................ 55
80.1
Introduction.......................................................................................................... 55
80.2
Roles and Responsibilities .................................................................................. 55
80.3
Guidelines ........................................................................................................... 56
CHAPTER 90 – PUBLIC INFORMATION .................................................................................. 57
90.1
Introduction.......................................................................................................... 57
90.2
General................................................................................................................ 57
90.3
Responsibilities ................................................................................................... 57
90.4
Operations ........................................................................................................... 58
90.5
Tasks................................................................................................................... 59
90.6
Coordinating Instructions..................................................................................... 61
CHAPTER 100 – INCIDENT BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ........................................................ 63
100.1
General................................................................................................................ 63
100.2
Awards ................................................................................................................ 63
100.3
Reimbursable Costs ............................................................................................ 63
100.4
Non-Reimbursable Costs .................................................................................... 64
100.5
Additional Personnel Requests ........................................................................... 65
100.6
Claims ................................................................................................................. 65
100.7
Billing Procedures ............................................................................................... 65

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Introduction

ii

APPENDIX
Exhibit 1

Timelines
Military Firefighter Training/Mobilization Process .................................. A-3
Military Linear Deployment Timeline...................................................... A-4

Exhibit 2

Items Provided by the Fire Agency and the Military .................................... A-5

Exhibit 3

Resource Orders
Resource Order Instructions.................................................................. A-7
Overhead Resource Orders................................................................... A-9
Supplies Resource Orders................................................................... A-21
Equipment Resource Orders ............................................................... A-27

Exhibit 4

ICS – Military Relationship
One Battalion ....................................................................................... A-31
Two-Battalion Task Force with Area Command .................................. A-32

Exhibit 5

NIIMS Incident Command System Glossary ............................................. A-33

Exhibit 6

Military – Civilian Aviation Comparisons
Military – Civilian Helicopter Comparison ............................................ A-37
ICS – Military Aviation Relationships ................................................... A-38

Exhibit 7

Training Cadre Organization and Staffing ................................................. A-39

Exhibit 8

Common Mobilization Issues and Questions ............................................ A-41

Exhibit 9

MCAD Forms
Military Crew Advisor Checklist ........................................................... A-45
Military Firefighter Training Certification .............................................. A-49

Exhibit 10

Helicopter Paint Schemes (CA Interagency Military
Helicopter Firefighting Program Operating Plan)....................................... A-51

Exhibit 11

Insignia of the United States Armed Forces
Officers ................................................................................................ A-55
Enlisted ................................................................................................ A-56

Exhibit 12

Common Military Terms ............................................................................ A-57

Exhibit 13

Military Abbreviations and Acronyms ........................................................ A-61

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Introduction

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Introduction

iv

INTRODUCTION
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) Military Use Handbook provides guidance for
federal wildland fire agencies who receive military resources to augment their firefighting efforts.
The handbook also provides guidance on mobilizing ground forces including the mission, what
to bring, items provided, and an overview of firefighting operations and military command and
control.
Deployed battalions work for the Incident Commander (IC); battalions are under the Operational
Control (OPCON) to the US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and Tactical Control
(TACON) to the IC.
For simplicity within this document, “battalion” will refer to a battalion, task force, or
other composite force.
Military personnel: Prior to arrival of the NIFC Advance Party please take time to read this
handbook.
For additional information once deployment notification is received, contact the Defense
Coordinating Officer (DCO) at the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC), located at
NIFC, Boise, Idaho, (208) 387-5400.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Introduction

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Introduction

vi

CHAPTER 10
GENERAL
10.1
Purpose. The purpose of this operational handbook is to provide: (1) a compilation of
material about the lessons learned from use of military assets, (2) an overview of the
mobilization process, (3) checklists which can be used to ensure the effective use of military
resources.

10.2
Overview. Approximately five days are required after the decision to use military assets
before trained military firefighters are available for their first operational assignment.
Appendix – Exhibit 1 provides a detailed overview of this process.
Proactive planning and decision making are essential to ensure the military is deployed
efficiently. The National Fire Preparedness Plan (Chapter 20 of the National Interagency
Mobilization Guide, http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/logistics/references.htm) identifies checkpoints and
tasks which must be completed to meet this objective.
Mobilization of military assets is a complicated, detailed, and time consuming process. This task
cannot be accomplished within the existing organizational structure. Military Liaison Officers will
be needed at almost every level including the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC),
Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACCs), Area Command or agency headquarters, and
at individual incidents.
In addition to the Military Liaison Officers assigned to the various organizational levels, a
Battalion Military Liaison (BNML) position is assigned to each battalion of military firefighters.
This liaison travels to the military installation, begins the coordination process, oversees the
training, accompanies the battalion to the incident, and provides liaison between the Battalion
Commander and the Incident Commander (IC). The BNML is the key person in mobilization and
coordination.
This operational handbook is applicable for regular military assets and does not apply to
operations conducted by National Guard units or regular military units working under
local Memorandums of Understanding.
Military personnel are required to meet Service Physical Fitness Requirements on a recurring
(biannual or annual, depending on the service) basis. These requirements meet fire agency
standards and preclude the need to administer a fitness evaluation.

10.3
Ordering Requirements and Procedures. Prior to military assets being mobilized, all
civilian resources must be assigned either to active fires or to initial attack. NICC will ensure
civilian resources are assigned prior to ordering military assets. The short-term use of trained
DoD assets should be considered until civilian or wildland fire agency resources become
available to replace DoD assets. For long-term use/assignments, the following process will be
followed:

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 10







10.4

NICC will place all Requests for Assistance (RFAs) for DoD assets to the US
Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in Colorado Springs, CO. The RFA will
include a fiscal code for DoD use.
USNORTHCOM will follow DoD chain of command.
When NIFC reaches National Preparedness Level (PL) 4, a Defense Coordinating
Officer (DCO) will be appointed.
The length of mobilization for any battalion will not exceed 30 days—first day of
assignment beginning with classroom training. Agency personnel assigned to a
battalion/incident(s) should plan on a 30- to 33-day assignment.
Activated DoD units can be reassigned within or to another geographic area(s) if
situations warrant, unless preempted by a priority defense mission.

Authorities/Responsibilities.
10.4.1

National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC):











Ensure all civilian resources are assigned.
Request the assignment of a DCO at PL 4.
Inform the DCO of all requests for military assistance.
Provide guidance/clarification on resources being mobilized.
As appropriate, negotiate which services are reimbursable as
outlined in the Interagency Agreement for the Provision of
Temporary Support during Wildland Firefighting Operations
(Chapter 40 of the National Interagency Mobilization Guide,
http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/logistics/references.htm).
Monitor deployment of military resources and provide assistance as
appropriate.
Send the NIFC Advance Party to the military installation to provide
assistance and a briefing on the firefighting mission.
Provide a BNML, BNML-Deputy, 6 Strike Team Leaders/Military
(STLMs), and 26 Military Crew Advisors (MCADs) per battalion.
Provide training as outlined in this handbook.

NOTE: Throughout this handbook, the term MCAD includes the six STLMs.
Specific duties and responsibilities of the STLMs are located in Chapter 60.
10.4.2

Agency Receiving Military Assistance:







Begin coordination with the DCO at NICC.
Provide a primary Point of Contact (POC).
Provide/arrange for military office space as appropriate.
Negotiate/coordinate through appropriate channels which military
resources will be mobilized.
Provide timely feedback on all aspects of military operations.
Once military resources have been ordered, begin the coordination
process with the BNML who will be at the military installation
providing assistance.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 10

2






10.4.3

Incident Commander (IC):






10.4.4

Be prepared to meet and brief the Military Advance Party (or
ADVON). An Agency/Area Command Liaison Officer may need a
staff (Communication Unit Leader, Agency Aviation Military Liaison,
Logistics Coordinator, Plans, and Public Affairs Officer) to work with
the Military Advance Party.
Identify and provide a U.S. Postal Service mail address for
correspondence with military personnel (agency name, address,
incident, etc.).
Submit through the appropriate channels an “After Action Report” on
the use of military resources.

Coordinate with the Agency/Area Command Liaison Officer
resources the military brings to the incident.
Be prepared to manage/support additional military assets including
four to six commercial or military command and control vehicles.
Provide a minimum of 10 acres of camp area for each battalion.
Provide a formal initial briefing for the Battalion Commander and
staff.
Involve the Battalion Commander and staff in planning/coordination
meetings.

Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO):




The DCO is the on-scene, single POC for the DoD. The DCO closely
confers with NIFC to ensure prompt, effective, and appropriate use
of federal military assistance to fire suppression efforts.
Additionally, the DCO’s Defense Coordinating Element (DCE) staff
and team of Liaison Officers (LNOs) form an indispensable core
which assists NIFC in coordinating military support activities.
The DCO will review requests for military assistance prior to
transmittal and advise NIFC on military-related matters. He/she will
also advise NIFC which requests are appropriate for the DoD.

10.5
Billing Procedures. Costs incurred by military agencies will be sent to USNORTHCOM
for review and then forwarded to NIFC.
Any agency field office receiving invoices from the military or supporting installations will send
those invoices through appropriate channels to NIFC.
Refer to Chapter 100 for specific guidance regarding financial management issues.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 10

4

CHAPTER 20
RESOURCE ORDERING PROCEDURES FOR MILITARY ASSETS
20.1

Ordering Process. The following resource ordering process will be utilized:
20.1.1
The National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) determines the
availability of civilian suppression resources.
20.1.2
If civilian resources are not readily available, the resource request(s) will be
returned from NICC to the Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC) indicating
military assets are the only available resources and estimated time frames for delivery.
20.1.3
The resource order(s) will be passed back from the GACC to the ordering
dispatch center, indicating military assets are the only available resources and
estimated time frames for delivery.
20.1.4
The resource order(s) will be passed back from the ordering unit dispatch
center to the incident indicating military assets are the only available resource and
estimated time frames for delivery. The unit dispatch center must certify the incident
needs are current and ensure military integrity will be kept intact by deploying a
minimum of one battalion (25 crews) to the same incident. The unit dispatch or GACC
may opt to reassign civilian crews to other incidents so outstanding crew orders can be
grouped on one incident.
20.1.5
Incidents must reorder military assets using the appropriate resource
categories in the following format:




Crews will be ordered by battalion (25 crews @ 20 persons per
crew). Each battalion will have one crew request number (C-#). Each
battalion will be deployed to the same incident. A battalion, including
command and control and support should not exceed 560 personnel.
Aviation support will be ordered by required missions. Each type of
mission will have its own aircraft request number (A-#). Refer to
Chapter 70 for ordering procedures. This includes the medevac
helicopter support.

20.1.6
The resource order(s) will then be placed from the incident through
established dispatch channels to NICC. NICC will forward these orders to
USNORTHCOM.
20.1.7

NIFC provides the following resources or fiscal code for DoD acquisition:
20.1.7.1

For each battalion:


Ground transportation from the closest jetport to the
incident and return to the closest jetport upon
completion of assignment. The military may provide

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 20












20.1.7.2

this transportation if the incident is near the battalion’s
home installation.
Fiscal code (fund cite) for organic or the acquisition of
four to six command and control vehicles
Fund cite for express mail delivery (FedEx, UPS, etc.)
from home installation to the incident every other day
Mobile food service, shower and laundry facilities (a
minimum of one mobile kitchen and one shower unit
initially)
Daily transportation at the incident
Power
Maps
Petroleum, oils and lubricants
Command/tactical radio kits (5 kits; 80 programmable
radios)
Cellular telephones may be provided on a case-bycase basis.
BNML, BNML-Deputy, 6 STLMs plus 26 MCADs; these
positions deploy with the battalion and remain
throughout the assignment

For each military personnel:














Fire resistant shirts** (2 each)
Fire resistant pants** (2 each)
Fire shelter with carrying case (1 each)
Hard hat (1 each)
Safety glasses (1 each)
Headlamp with batteries (1 each)
Gloves (1 pair)
Flat file and handle (for tool sharpening) (1 each)
1-quart canteens without covers* (2 each)
Sleeping bag (1 each)
Sleeping pad (1 each)
Firefighter web gear/day pack# (1 each)
Boots (1 pair)
* Provided by the incident if needed.
** Exchanges for wrong sizes will occur at the incident.
#
Limited availability. Determination is made at time of
order.

20.1.8

Prior to the arrival of a battalion at an incident, NICC will:




Initiate resource orders for, and mobilize the BNML, BNML-Deputy, 6
STLMs, and 26 MCADs to NIFC.
Request the GACC initiate a change order for the BNML,
BNML-Deputy, 6 STLMs, and 26 MCADs to the appropriate incident.
Initiate resource orders for the caterer, shower unit and radios.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 20

6




Request the GACC initiate a change order for the caterer, shower
unit and radios.
The GACC will request overhead, equipment (radios) and supply
request numbers (O-, E-, S-#, respectively) from the incident for
these resources. NICC will transfer resources assigned from the
initial NICC order to the incident order.

(Refer to the Appendix – Exhibit 3 for sample overhead, supply and equipment
resource orders.)
20.1.9
The incident must order adequate support equipment, transportation and
handtools to equip 500 firefighters plus 50-60 support personnel. The incident is
responsible for supplying petroleum, oils, and lubricants for ground vehicles and
aviation fuel for aviation assets. All firefighting personnel will come equipped with
personal protective equipment (PPE).
20.1.10
Command and control helicopters, if needed, are ordered separately, based
on incident command and staff needs.
20.1.11
Military medevac helicopter Requests for Assistance (RFAs) will be included
on the same RFA as the battalion. Medevac helicopters are not automatically a part of,
or mobilized with, the assigned battalion. When a medevac helicopter is located away
from the incident helibase, the host agency provides appropriate transportation for the
flight crew.

20.2
Military Follow-up Orders. All other civilian support requested specifically by the military
at the incident will follow incident ordering procedures.

20.3
NIFC-Contracted Commissary Services/Army and Air Force Exchange Service
(AAFES).



Military units may utilize NIFC-contracted commissary services or can obtain
commissary support through AAFES.
Civilian firefighters may not use AAFES when a NIFC-contracted commissary
service is assigned to the incident.

20.4
Demobilization Procedures. Demobilization procedures will be accomplished through
coordination channels in the same manner as mobilization. A lead time of 72 hours is needed
to release military firefighters. NICC will release assets to the military and may provide
transportation to the home station(s). The incident should be prepared to provide ground
transportation to the demobilization jetport. All tools, PPE and other issued firefighting
equipment, except boots, must be collected at the incident prior to demobilization.

7

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 20

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 20

8

CHAPTER 30
NIFC ADVANCE PARTY
30.1
General Briefing. The purpose of the NIFC Advance Party is to provide a briefing to the
command and support staffs of the involved military units. This may involve personnel from
battalion through division level but at a minimum should include the Battalion Commanders and
their respective logistics staffs. The briefing covers the following subjects:























National wildland fire situation
Incident intelligence—inclusive of maps
Military support requirements
Aviation issues (24-hour military medevac capabilities at incident)
Aircraft capabilities currently on site
Communication issues
Public information issues
Meal accommodations while on the military site
Use of military transportation by the MCADs (40 PAX bus)
Coordination of personal protective equipment (PPE) issuance
Business management issues
Items that the wildland fire agency and the military will provide
(Refer to Appendix – Exhibit 2 for specific information.)
Exchange of key contact telephone listings
Benefits and arrangements for sending a Military Advance Party (ADVON) to
the incident
Preparation and coordination for all involved over the 30-day period
Arrangements to assign MCADs to battalion in the morning formation
Arrangements for mail and telephone use at the incident(s)
Incident Command System (ICS), ICS organization, and incident planning
process overview (Refer to the Appendix – Exhibits 4 and 5.)
Arrangements for military and civilian command and control linkage at incident
Fire suppression spectrum and the changing conditions which may occur
(Initially the military will, in most cases, be assigned mop-up activities. Within a
few shifts, they may be reassigned to hotline fire activities.)
Training objectives, time frames, and support needs (Chainsaw training may be
provided at the incident based on the skills and abilities of the soldiers. The
BNML will discuss/negotiate this training with the Battalion Commander.)
Length of work shift, R & R, etc., and coordination of these with the IMT

Upon completion of the general briefing, separate specific briefings with question/answer
sessions should be conducted involving the individuals of the NIFC Advance Party and their
counterparts from the military. The involved military commanders should remain for the logistics
briefing. Additionally, a representative from the supporting CONUSA will arrive at the supporting
installation to brief the chain-of-command on the firefighting mission.
A video presentation beginning with the decision process of military activation including training,
mobilization, daily life in fire camp and redeployment will be presented by the NIFC Advance
Party. The video is designed to orient military and agency staffs having involvement.

9

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 30

30.2
Positions and Qualifications. The NIFC Advance Party will be composed of civilian
subject matter experts. Membership of the NIFC Advance Party will be determined and
approved by the National MAC group and be ordered by the National Interagency Coordination
Center (NICC). Potential members of the NIFC Advance Party include the following:
30.2.1
Chief of Party. The Chief of Party will be appointed by and report to the
National MAC Group. The individual will be a senior representative of one of the federal
wildland fire organizations with intimate knowledge of NIFC and fire operations.
30.2.2
Battalion Military Liaison (BNML). Each BNML is selected by the National
MAC Group. The BNML is the Battalion Commander’s liaison to the Incident
Commander. This person should be well versed in military firefighter mobilizations.
30.2.3
National Military Coordinator. The National Military Coordinator will be
appointed by NICC. This individual will be a qualified coordinator with experience in
military firefighter mobilizations.
30.2.4
Communications Officer. The Communications Officer will be a senior
communications specialist provided by the National Interagency Radio Support Cache
(NIIRSC) at NIFC. This individual will be an expert in incident communication systems
and familiar with military communications capabilities.
30.2.5
Aviation Officer. The Aviation Officer will be a qualified rotor-wing pilot/
aviation specialist appointed by the United States Forest Service (USFS), Aviation
Management (AM) directorate (formerly OAS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
aviation groups at NIFC.
30.2.6
Public Affairs Officer. The Public Affairs Officer will be assigned from the
National Office of External Affairs. This individual will be an experienced fire Public
Information Officer, preferably with knowledge of military public affairs.
30.2.7
Training Coordinator. The Training Coordinator will be appointed by the
National Military Coordinator. This individual will have experience in military firefighter
training operations.
30.2.8
Training/Cadre Logistics Coordinator. The Training/Cadre Logistics
Coordinator will be appointed by the National Military Coordinator. This individual will
have experience in military firefighter training operations.
30.2.9

Financial Advisor. A Financial Advisor will be appointed by NIFC.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 30

10

30.3

Responsibilities.
30.3.1

Chief of Party.

Establishes initial contact with the military installation to schedule
briefing times and locations.

Ensures all party members are fully briefed on individual roles.

Orders aircraft and identifies necessary ground transportation
through NICC.

Provides introductions of party members to the military and gives a
general briefing on the national fire situation and the NIFC role.

Outlines fiscal responsibilities and procedures.

30.3.2

National Military Coordinator.

Establishes contacts at the military installation for use by NICC
during deployment and commitment of troops.

Provides maps of the incident(s), surrounding area, and Western
U.S. with location of major fires.

Provides copies of Military Use Handbook, NFES 2175.

Provides general briefing on the national coordination system and
the role of the system in supporting the military.

Provides specific briefing concerning necessary equipment needed
to support the troops and support to be provided by NIFC.

Introduces the Training Coordinator who will remain at the
installation as the senior NIFC representative and liaison between
the installation, the training team, and the military until the battalion
is deployed.

30.3.3
Battalion Military Liaison. Presents overview of suppression duties the
battalion performs once assigned to an incident. As an aid to clarify firefighting duties,
the chart below outlines the progression of assignments a battalion/task force may
encounter.
FIREFIGHTING MISSION
Skill Level Progression
BASIC
Classroom
Training

ADVANCED
Dry
Mopup

Wet
Mopup

Line
Improvement

Line
Construction

Spike
Camp

Coyote
Tactics

Night shifts
Saw Teams
Company Level Ops

Platoon Level Ops

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 30

30.3.4

Communications Officer.

Provides a general briefing to command and staff on type and
capability of communications equipment provided by NIFC.

Meets with Military Communication Specialist to provide specific
information regarding fire communications system and its interface
with military communications.

30.3.5

Aviation Officer.

Provides status of incident aircraft by type and explains basic
operating procedures to include communications linkage.

Meets with military aviation support personnel to assist in
determining their aviation requirements.

Provides point of contact at the incident for air operations.

Provides a high quality map showing the location of incident
helibases, heliports and nearest commercial airport(s).

Explains use and requirement of highly reflective paint and avionics
package.
(Refer to the Appendix – Exhibit 6.)

30.3.6
Public Affairs Officer (PAO). Provides a general briefing on public affairs role
at the incident and provides point of contact for the military PAO at the incident.
30.3.7
Training Coordinator. Provides the organizational structure, time frames,
schedules, and overall objectives of the military firefighter training effort.
(Refer to the Appendix – Exhibits 1 and 7.)
30.3.8

Training/Cadre Logistics Coordinator.

Provides specific information on training requirements and support
needs for Training Cadre and MCADs while at the military
installation.

Inspects eight classrooms to be used for training including
equipment check.

30.3.9
Financial Advisor. Provides information for reimbursable and nonreimbursable financial support needs; billing, procurement and ordering procedures;
costs and incident accounting; and points of contact.
30.4

Common Mobilization Issues and Questions. (Refer to Appendix – Exhibit 8.)

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 30

12

CHAPTER 40
TRAINING

40.1
General. NIFC is responsible for training active duty military personnel for wildland
firefighting, training civilian overhead personnel assigned to work with the military units, and
facilitating assignment of MCADs to their military counterparts. A half-day of classroom
orientation and training is provided at the unit’s installation by a NIFC-provided Training Cadre
and assigned MCADs. The military firefighting training process is slightly different from that
provided to civilian wildland firefighters. The military provides extensive training in organization,
discipline, physical fitness and other skills which facilitate quick utilization in a wildland fire
capacity. On-the-job training and improvement of performance skills continues throughout the
assignment under direction of the BNML/MCADs, with safety a primary concern. This training is
equivalent to the Firefighting Training, S-130 and Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior, S-190
courses given to civilian wildland firefighters.

40.2 Training Cadre Support at the Military Installation. The Training Cadre should be lodged
off post. The military is not responsible for transportation of the Training Cadre. Military dining
facilities may be used by the Training Cadre. Military installations will make available telephones
and facsimile capabilities to the Training Coordinator (TC) and BNML.
40.2.1
Classroom Training. The following topics are included in the Military
Wildland Fire Suppression Training package:










Introduction
Fire Situation
Fire Organization
Fire Terminology
Introduction to Handtools
Fire Behavior
Fireline Safety
Fire Shelter
Wrap Up

40.2.2
Field Training. Field training at the incident consists of fire suppression
methods and procedures. The assigned MCADs, Military Officers in Charge (OIC), and
BNML will determine when military crews are to be incorporated into the suppression
organization. Each BNML, OIC, and MCAD will utilize the MCAD Checklist (Refer to
Appendix – Exhibit 9) as an aid in determining this readiness. Field training includes
the following topics:





Reinforcement of material learned in the classroom as well as
on-the-job training
Watch Out Situations and Standard Firefighting Orders, related to
specific conditions at the fire location
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Use, transportation, and maintenance of tools

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 40






Line construction techniques and proper use of appropriate
handtools
Crew coordination techniques
Fireline safety
Securing the control line and mopup

40.3
Organization and Staffing. (Refer to Appendix – Exhibit 7 for Training Cadre
organization and staffing.)
NOTE: Due to shortages of experienced Training Cadre members, assigning trainees to
all training positions is strongly recommended.

40.4

Qualifications and Responsibilities. The Training Cadre Advanced Party will consist of:







Training Coordinator
Training/Cadre Logistics Coordinator
Military Installation Logistics Coordinator
Military Logistics–Ramp
Military Logistics–PPE
Purchasing Agent

40.4.1
Training Coordinator (TC). The TC is appointed by and reports to the
National Military Coordinator. The TC is responsible for ensuring successful completion
of the mission. The TC must be a highly qualified wildland fire training instructor with
experience training military firefighters. The TC is responsible for:







Organizing and supervising the Training Cadre and selecting support
staff necessary to complete the mission.
Traveling as a member of the NIFC Advanced Party to coordinate
training objectives, scheduling, classroom and equipment needs with
the military.
Attending military command briefings to orient commanders, staff,
and family members to the military firefighter training program and
fire assignment.
Obtaining current situation reports from the National Military
Coordinator, Training Cadre, military commanders, and MCADs.
Making periodic reports to the National Military Coordinator.
Leading evening reviews of each day’s events and ensuring
appropriate notes of these meeting are kept.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 40

14

40.4.2
Training/Cadre Logistics Coordinator. The Training/Cadre Logistics
Coordinator must have experience in the mobilization of the Training Cadre and
knowledge of resource ordering procedures. Experience as a member of a military
Training Cadre is desirable. This position reports to the TC and will:


















Coordinate actions with the National Military Coordinator and TC.
Anticipate arrival of incoming Training Cadre, BNMLs, MCADs and
coordinate with the Great Basin Mobilization Center to provide for
their needs while at NIFC.
Assist in the mobilization of the Training Cadre.
Acquire copies of resource orders for PPE from the National Military
Coordinator.
Provide logistical support to the Training Cadre as needed.
Order, assemble and/or assign training materials, tools and
equipment, and personal portable radios to the Training Cadre and
BNML.
Maintain a manifest of Training Cadre members, personnel gear and
training materials; ensure weights are listed separately.
Secure intelligence on the current fire situation.
Attend briefing at military installation with Battalion Commanders and
staff. Attend additional briefings with the Battalion S-1, S-3, S-4 and
military Movement Coordinator as needed.
Provide and exchange pertinent contact information for agency and
military personnel.
Meet with military point of contact to coordinate Training Cadre
needs. Provide the military with a list of needs including classrooms,
audio-visual equipment, materials, office space, on-post dining and
transportation.
In conjunction with the Purchasing Agent, arrange for off-post food,
lodging and transportation for Training Cadre.
Provide maps of the training site showing location of classrooms and
dining facilities including hours of operation. Provide organization
charts of military units to be trained.
Ensure that classrooms are set up properly—adequate seating and
operational audio-visual equipment.
Reorder supplies for each additional battalion to be trained.
Arrange for return of battalion instructor kits to NIFC or next military
installation.

Helpful Hints:




PPE should arrive one day prior to the first training day.
Coordinate with the local suppression agency (forest, district, etc.)
for temporary personnel support.
Military personnel needing to exchange or acquire additional PPE
should do so at the incident.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 40

40.4.3
Military Installation Logistics Coordinator. The Military Installation Logistics
Coordinator must have knowledge and experience in military firefighter mobilization
and coordination of national, area and local resources. A person with at least Support
Dispatcher qualifications is desirable for this position. This person reports to the
National Military Coordinator and will:



















Assist the Training/Cadre Logistics Coordinator as necessary.
Attend briefings at military installation with Unit Commanders and
staff.
Attain proper take-off and landing authorizations (Prior Permission
Requests) from the National Military Coordinator. Identify staging
and loading areas.
Contact the civilian airport manager or military flight control; advise
of mission aircraft type, ETAs and fuel requirements.
Arrange with the Division Transportation Officer (DTO) for aircraft tug
or equivalent.
Arrange through the military counterpart for 10 to 14 (same group
throughout all deployment flights) soldiers to assist with baggage
loading.
Relay all aircraft flight following information to NICC within
established guidelines.
Coordinate with the Battalion S-4 for delivery, security, issuance and
accountability of PPE.
Arrange through the military counterpart for six to eight soldiers to
assist with the preparation of issuing and recording of PPE.
Coordinate schedule with the TC. Monitor issuance and provide
assistance as needed.
Maintain dialogue with NICC and the TC for scheduling and
capabilities of aircraft assigned for battalion transport to incident(s).
Ensure aircraft passenger manifests and load configurations are
completed and shared with appropriate parties (NICC, Loadmasters,
Movement Coordinator, etc.).
Relay transportation information to the appropriate military contacts
(Battalion S-3).
Assist in resolving issues or problems associated with the aircraft,
passengers or flight.
Coordinate with the BNML and Battalion S-1 for accurate completion
of passenger and cargo manifests.
Monitor aircraft loading; document and inform the flight crew of
personnel and cargo distribution for weight and balance
computations.
Monitor military personnel and cargo embarkation in conjunction with
the DTO of the cooperating military installation.
Arrange for the return of non-issued PPE.

40.4.4
Military Logistics–Ramp. The Military Logistics–Ramp must have knowledge
and experience in military firefighter mobilization and coordination of national, area, and
local resources. This person reports to and assists in completing the duties of the
Military Installation Logistics Coordinator.

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16

40.4.5
Military Logistics–PPE. The Military Logistics–PPE must have knowledge
and experience in military firefighter mobilization and coordination of national, area, and
local resources. This person reports to and assists in completing the duties of the
Military Installation Logistics Coordinator.
40.4.6
Purchasing Agent. The Purchasing Agent must have procurement authority
($10,000 warrant preferred). A person who is qualified to instruct S-130 and S-190 is
desirable for this position. This position reports to the National Military Coordinator. The
Purchasing Agent will:




Negotiate and/or formalize all procurement agreements; e.g.,
lodging, meals, vehicles, and pay all resultant bills.
Instruct in area of expertise on an emergency basis.
Coordinate actions with the Training/Cadre Logistics Coordinator.

40.4.7
Lead Instructor. The Lead Instructor is appointed by and reports to the TC.
The Lead Instructor must be a highly qualified wildland fire training instructor with
experience in military firefighter training. The Lead Instructor will:











Serve as acting TC.
Serve as the point of contact for logistics and finance to meet the
needs of the Training Cadre.
Obtain the following items in electronic format and ensure they are
inserted into each Military Wildland Fire Suppression Training
package: lightning detection map, weather forecast, large incidents
map, incident map where military will be assigned, and National
Wildland Fire Outlook map.
Obtain copies of a current Incident Action Plan (four per instructor)
for use during classroom training.
Perform as a classroom instructor should the need arise.
Monitor instructor/MCAD presentations for quality, standardization
and coverage of all subjects.
Troubleshoot problems arising in the distribution and operation of
training equipment, both military and civilian.
Report to the TC at the end of the morning and afternoon training
sessions and attend evening reviews.
Upon returning to NIFC at the end of the training detail, conduct a
debriefing of Training Cadre and prepare the battalion instructor kits
for the next mobilization.

40.4.8
Instructor. The Instructor must be a qualified wildland fire training instructor
interested in this assignment and supportive of military firefighter training. Experience
with military firefighter training is desirable. The Instructor reports to the Lead Instructor
and will:



Account for a handheld radio, battalion instructor kit, and other
assigned equipment until demobilized.
Obtain the following items in electronic format from the Lead
Instructor and insert into the Military Wildland Fire Suppression
Training package: lightning detection map, weather forecast, large

17

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 40











incidents map, incident map where military will be assigned, and
National Wildland Fire Outlook map.
Obtain four copies of a current Incident Action Plan from the Lead
Instructor for use during classroom instruction.
Ensure that the battalion instructor kit has the necessary training
materials for classroom instruction.
Review the Military Wildland Fire Suppression Training prior to
traveling to the military installation.
Equip and prepare classroom at the military installation.
Instruct military personnel using the Military Wildland Fire
Suppression Training package and MCADs as fully functional
classroom instructors, to provide continuity for field training.
When instruction at the installation is completed, package the
battalion instructor kit, tools and supplies for return to NIFC or the
next military installation.
Notify the Lead Instructor in a timely manner of any resupply needs.
Provide information on needed revisions and/or additions to the
Military Wildland Fire Suppression Training package.
Provide the Lead Instructor and the TC with information on the
progress and success of the instructional process.

40.4.9
NIFC Briefing Coordinator (BC). The BC is ordered by and reports to the
National Military Coordinator. The BC provides briefings at NIFC for the assigned
BNMLs and the MCADs prior to their mobilization to the military installation. The BC
must be a good trainer; experience as a BNML is desired. The BC will:





40.4.10

Obtain a briefing and briefing coordinator’s package from the
National Military Coordinator and TC.
Provide a thorough situation briefing at NIFC to the BNMLs and a
detailed briefing to the MCADs on their roles and responsibilities for
training at the military installation, field training and fire suppression
duties at the incident. The briefing coordinator’s package contains a
briefing outline, handouts and visual aids.
Provide the BNML with 40 copies of the MCAD Checklist printed on
yellow paper and sized to fit into the Fireline Handbook.
(Refer to Appendix – Exhibit 9 for the MCAD Checklist.)

Battalion Military Liaison (BNML). The BNML coordinates with the TC and
the Unit Commander at the military installation.

While at the military installation this person is responsible for:





Supervising and coordinating activities of the MCADs during the
training at the installation.
Organizing MCADs to integrate with appropriate levels in the
battalion’s particular organization.
Participating in military briefings to orient command and staff to the
fire assignment.
Assisting the military with deployment planning.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 40

18








Creating and distributing a contact list linking IMT members with their
military counterparts—both at the installation and on the incident.
Obtaining copies of training site(s) and schedules for classroom and
on-the-job training to be accomplished.
Interfacing with military command staff and Training Cadre at the
training site.
Briefing MCADs regarding military crew assignments and training
schedules.
Distributing copies of the MCAD Checklist to MCADs.
Deploying with the military unit after the classroom training has been
completed.

NOTE: Refer to Section 60.1 for a complete listing of qualification requirements and
description of duties.
40.4.11 Battalion Military Liaison–Deputy (BNML–Deputy). In coordination with the
BNML, assists in assigning appropriate numbers of MCADs to STLMs in relation to the
number of crews within each company of the battalion.
While at the military installation, this person is responsible for:







Assisting in supervision and coordination of MCADs during training.
Assisting and participating in the integration of MCADs into the
battalion’s organization.
Attending and participating in military briefings, assisting and
orienting the battalion’s staff to the fire assignment.
Providing coordination to the BNML and MCADs for deployment to
incident.
Interfacing with Battalion Command Staff and Training Cadre at the
installation.
Deploying with military unit after classroom training has been
completed.

NOTE: Refer to Section 60.2 for a complete listing of qualification requirements and a
description of duties.
40.4.12
Military Crew Advisors (MCADs). While at the military installation, these
individuals are responsible for:





Following the direction of the BNML, team up with members of the
Training Cadre and assist in conducting the classroom wildland fire
suppression training of assigned military crew.
Developing a close working relationship with the assigned crew
commander.
Obtaining copies of the MCAD Checklist/Military Firefighter Training
Certification from the BNML for completion during field training.
Deploying to incident with the assigned military crew.

NOTE: Refer to Sections 60.3 and 60.4 for a complete listing of qualification
requirements and description of duties.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 40

40.5
Training Equipment and Supplies. The initial order of supplies listed below must be
ordered by the Training/Cadre Logistics Coordinator and shipped to the installation with the
Training Cadre. The battalion instructor kits contain Instructor’s Guides, miscellaneous
instructional materials, checklists, publications and supplies for eight instructors.
80 bk
80 ea
80 ea
800 ea
8 pg
8 pg
8 pg
80 ea

NFES 0065
NFES 1077
NFES 1570
NFES 2243
NFES 2388
NFES 2389
NFES 2397
NFES 2407

Fireline Handbook***
Incident Response Pocket Guide***
Your Fire Shelter***
Fireline Safety Reference
Standard Fire Order/Situation decal
Standard Fire Order/Situation card
LCES decals
Shelter, fire w/case, for “PRACTICE ONLY”

*** For distribution to company commanders and above.
(Refer to Appendix – Exhibit 3 for a sample supply resource order.)

40.6
Facilities and Equipment Requirements at the Military Installation. Facilities and
equipment required at the military installation include:





Eight classrooms, each equipped with overhead projector and screen, easel
with flip chart paper and markers, and VHS video tape player connected to a
video monitor.
Dining facilities for MCADs while on base.
Transportation (typically by military bus) for MCADs from the lodging site (near,
but off the installation) to military dining facilities and classrooms.
Telephone and facsimile communications needs for the TC and BNML,
requested from the assigned battalion.

40.7
Sequence of Events. Arrival of the Training Cadre and MCADs with their training
equipment at the military installation is critical to the mission. (Refer to Appendix – Exhibit 1
for the Military Firefighter Training/Mobilization Process.)
40.8

Aviation Training. Refer to Chapter 70.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 40

20

CHAPTER 50
MILITARY OPERATIONS

50.1
General. The U.S. military provides disciplined, physically fit personnel for the wildland
fire suppression mission.

50.2
Chain of Command. Every commanding officer has the authority to give lawful orders to
those under their command. The orders are passed from the Battalion Commander to the
Company Commander. A list of various ranks, the units they command, and the approximate
number of personnel per unit includes:

UNIT

COMMANDER

Squad or Section
Platoon
Company (Troop/Battery)
Battalion (Squadron)
Regiment/Brigade
Division

Sergeant (SGT)
Lieutenant (1LT/2LT)
Captain (CPT)
Lt. Colonel (LTC/Lt Col)
Colonel (COL/Col)
Major General (MG)

APPROXIMATE NUMBER
OF PERSONNEL
9 to 13
36 to 48
150 to 180
550 to 800
2,000 plus
14,000 to 20,000

50.3
Discipline and Conduct. The Code of Conduct was prescribed by the President of the
United States in 1955 and is a simple written creed applying to all military personnel.
The code is not intended to provide guidance on every aspect of military life. For that purpose
there are military regulations, rules of military courtesy, and established customs and traditions.
There is also the Uniform Code of Military Justices (UCMJ). The UCMJ has punitive powers; the
Code of Conduct does not.
The officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) will enforce a no-alcohol policy at all times
and closed camp policies when necessary. The military quickly addresses disciplinary
questions, rather than deferring resolution until redeployment to home installations. A Judge
Advocate can be attached to a regimental or task force headquarters.

50.4
Unit Pride. Civilian firefighters often do not have a military appearance, which is a
concern to military officers when non-military firefighters could be construed to be military
personnel.
Do not restrict military units to mopup. As they gain experience and maturity, increase their
responsibility, andr
ewar
dt
hem wi
t
h“
hot
”l
i
neassignments. Use friendly competition between
units, stressing production with safety, to increase daily output. Military discipline and good
liaison officers assigned to the units can be used effectively to maintain high production and
keep morale high.

21

Military Use Handbook 2006 –Chapter 50

50.5
Protocol. The military is rich in protocol and tradition. Most military battalions will have
an officer knowledgeable in protocol matters. This responsibility falls upon the Battalion
Adjutant. His/her knowledge is invaluable to keep conflict and misunderstanding under control.
One of the least understood events by the civilian observer is a visit by a General Officer or
other distinguished visitor and the concentrated efforts of preparation. Civilian liaison officers
need to understand what is happening and be alert to potential changes in agreed upon
operating procedures.
General Officers/VIPs understand civilian-military coordination. Protocol Officers/BN Adjutants
are also helpful in putting together awards and ceremonies. Learn to accept and work with
military protocol.
Awards:




50.6

The day before redeploying to the parent installation, an awards and
decorations ceremony is held. The military is proactive in recognizing deserving
personnel and individual units rendering outstanding support to the firefighting
effort. The military also recognizes civilians who render outstanding support to
the military. Military Liaison Officers must be prepared to recognize all military
units within a battalion. Officers and enlisted personnel should be recognized for
personal contributions or outstanding support of a successful mission. Plan at
least 5-10 days in advance for preparation of agency certificates for each unit or
individual.
Awards for the military are provided on a national basis for their support
throughout their activation period. The DoD facilitates national recognition to all
military units activated under this procedure. If an IMT or unit chooses to honor
the military for their support to a particular incident they may do so; however,
the cost of awards must be funded from preparedness funds and cannot be
charged to FireCode. Common sense should be used in making the decision to
recognize the military on an incident, knowing they will receive national
recognition.

Organizational Cross Reference.
ICS

Military

Command

Same

Operations

S-3 (BN/Bde), G-3 (DIV)
Aviation, Operations, Planning and Coordination

Plans

S-3 (BN/Bde), G-3 (DIV)
Aviation, Operations, Planning and Coordination
S-2, G-2 Intelligence Gathering and Analysis/Weather

Logistics

S-4, G-4 Supply, Transportation and Field Services

Finance

S-1, S-4 Personnel Management, Injuries and Awards

Military Use Handbook 2006 –Chapter 50

22

50.7
Daily Reporting. Both the IC and the military commanding officer must submit daily
reports. ICS requires daily submission of the Incident Status Summary, Form 209. The battalion
submits a Situation Report (SITREP).

50.8

Military Supply System.
Class I
Class II
Class III
Class IV
Class V
Class VI
Class VII
Class VIII
Class IX
Class X

50.9

Subsistence: food, water, etc.
Individual equipment: heaters, batteries
Petroleum products: POL; packages or bulk
Construction materials
Ammunition
Personnel comfort items: sundry packs, tobacco products, etc.
Major end items: vehicles
Medical and surgical supplies
Repair parts
Material and equipment to support non-military programs

Military Boots. (Class II Supply)






The USFS-MTDC has tested and certified, with DoD concurrence, the combat,
leather speed-lace boot for fireline use. Boots with synthetic materials are not
acceptable.
Anyc
ommer
ci
al
l
ypr
oc
ur
edboot
smustbeami
ni
mum off
ul
ll
eat
her8”hi
gh
uppers, Vibram or similar lugged stitched sole.
Steel toed boots are not acceptable.
The agency will only replace boots damaged on the fire assignment which are
unacceptable for military use. The determination of serviceable boots will be
made by the military chain of command.
NIFC will issue a fiscal code in National Preparedness Level 4 or 5 to
USNORTHCOM to initiate acquisition of 560 pairs of boots.

23

Military Use Handbook 2006 –Chapter 50

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Military Use Handbook 2006 –Chapter 50

24

CHAPTER 60
POSITION DESCRIPTIONS AND TASK LISTS

60.1
Battalion Military Liaison (BNML). The BNML is requested and selected by the National
MAC Group for attachment to the battalion tasked with wildland fire suppression. The BNML
reports to the military installation and interfaces with the Battalion Commander and Training
Coordinator. The minimum qualification for this position is Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS).
The BNML should be thoroughly briefed on the BNML role, have the ability to deal with
individuals from multiple organizations and carry out decisions without a staff. Prior experience
as an MCAD is desirable for this position. Upon completion of military firefighter classroom
training, the BNML deploys with the military battalion to the incident. The BNML is responsible
to the IC and Battalion Commander after arriving at the incident.
Task List:






















Pack for a fire assignment, including web gear, sleeping bag, tent, boots, PPE,
and programmable radio. Personal packs must not exceed 65 pounds.
Collocate military and civilian crews at the same incident base camp, if possible.
Contact the IC; provide a deployment schedule and obtain additional
information as soon as possible.
Integrate MCADs with military crews and make arrangements.
Participate in military command staff meetings daily.
Contact the Staging Area Manager to verify arrival arrangements.
Check in at the Incident Command Post (ICP). Complete the ICS 211. Ensure
all MCADs have completed check-in.
Report to the IC to introduce Battalion Commander and brief the IC.
Integrate appropriate military staff with Logistics Section Chief to establish all
facility needs for the battalion.
Coordinate with the Finance Section Chief to establish procedures for civilian
timekeeping procedures, injuries, commissary, etc.
Attend incident planning meetings as required with appropriate military staff.
Ensure field training is completed and inform IC of fire readiness of crews for
incident assignments. Crews will not be assigned to fireline duties until field
training is completed.
Assess the need of assigning a Safety Officer to the battalion and advise the
Operations Section Chief and Safety Officer.
Provide input on the use of military resources.
Oversee the continued training and safety of military and civilian personnel
assigned to the BNML.
Cooperate fully with the Area/Incident Command and Military Command Group.
Advise the IC of any special military needs or requirements the incident cannot
provide.
Coordinate military logistics needs/capabilities with the Demobilization Unit.
Ensure that all assigned personnel and/or equipment is properly accounted for.
Facilitate integration and logistics support.
Ensure all agency forms, reports and documents are completed prior to
departure from incident.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60






Debrief with the Battalion Commander and IC prior to departure; debrief with
MCADs prior to departure.
Participate in awards ceremony at assignment’s end.
Prepare performance evaluations.
Ensure that transportation and travel arrangements for military and civilian
personnel are completed prior to your departure.

Helpful Hints:
























Obtain a cellular telephone.
Prepare the BNML–Deputy for assumption of duties and responsibilities; share
information.
Communicate with the Military Advanced Party—before and after
reconnaissance mission.
Familiarize yourself with the Training Cadre.
Be prepared to participate in briefings at the military installation.
Be knowledgeable of when and where PPE will be issued, and if sufficient
numbers of all sizes of Nomex are available.
Prepare a spreadsheet with corresponding Command, Liaison, STML,
Company, MCAD, and Crew Name (or identifier) for ease of operations prior to
arrival at the incident—answers many battalion and incident personnel
questions.
Have military organizational charts available and ensure MCADS are familiar
with organizational chain of command.
Obtain a separate/rental vehicle at the incident for your transportation.
Make early contact with the Battalion Commander and remain close to him/her
throughout the assignment.
Be prepared to assist or provide input to the military installation action report.
Develop and keep a list of critical contacts and phone numbers for ready
reference.
Make assignments and expectations clear to the military.
Brief MCADs daily and stress the importance of close work/off duty
relationships with assigned military crews. Make agency rules clear to them.
Attend briefings identified as necessary by Incident/Area Command.
Utilize identifiable, well kept, official agency clothing throughout assignment.
Be knowledgeable of how medical, commissary, injury, etc., is handled
including medical procedures.
Communicate frequently with the IC and keep informed of developments.
Make every effort to have MCADs remain with military crews until the military
demobilizes.
Ensure crews participate in active work daily. Morale of military crews can
change quickly if crews are not kept busy with a clear, defined purpose.
Provide feedback to the National Military Coordinator.
Do not demobilize from incident until all travel and arrangements are completed
for military and civilians assigned to the military.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

26

60.2
Battalion Military Liaison–Deputy (BNML–Deputy). The BNML-Deputy is requested by
the National MAC Group, selected by the BNML and is assigned to the battalion tasked with
wildland fire suppression. The minimum qualification for the position will be Division/Group
Supervisor (DIVS). The BNML–Deputy will assist the BNML with selection of qualified STLMs.
The BNML–Deputy acts as a staff advisory leader providing guidance to the battalion staff and
assists the BNML. The BNML–Deputy assists the Battalion S-3 (Operations) and/or Battalion
Executive Officer (XO). Upon completion of the military firefighter classroom training, the
BNML–Deputy deploys with the military battalion to the incident and accomplishes wildland fire
suppression duties. The BNML–Deputy assumes duties and responsibilities of the BNML in
his/her absence. The BNML–Deputy is responsible to the BNML throughout the assignment.
Task List:

















Pack for a fire assignment, including web gear, sleeping bag, tent, boots, PPE,
and programmable radio. Personal packs must not exceed 65 pounds.
Review and become familiar with BNML duties and helpful hints.
Assist the BNML as requested.
Confirm that MCADs have been ordered and mobilization arrangements made;
check qualifications and obtain blood types.
Review and become familiar with STLM/MCAD duties and responsibilities.
In coordination with the BNNL, organize and conduct MCAD briefings.
Meet with the IC.
Brief incoming civilian DIVS and other “new comers” which may interface with
military operations.
Participate in military command staff meetings daily.
Check in at the Incident Command Post (ICP). Complete the ICS 211.
Assist the BNML with integration of military staff with incident staff.
Attend incident planning meetings as requested with appropriate military staff.
Assist with and observe military field training; inform the BNML of crew
readiness for incident assignment.
Once crews are assigned to incident duty (after field training), provide
coordination between the Operations Section and the military
company/battery/troop as requested by the BNML.
Participate in the awards ceremony at assignment’s end.
Prepare performance evaluations.

Helpful Hints:
In addition to duties of the BNML and STLM:

Make early contact with the Battalion Executive Officer (XO) and/or Battalion
S-3 and Command Sergeant Major; maintain contact throughout the
assignment.

Assist in all areas of liaison from the battalion to the IMT.

Be prepared to fulfill a temporary assignment as an STLM.

Be prepared to spike out with multiple military units.

Monitor and assess the STLMs’ and military units’ fire assignments, safety
needs, progression and accomplishments.

Provide the BNML with performance and debriefing information.

27

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

60.3
Strike Team Leader/Military (STLM). The STLM acts as an advisory leader to provide
guidance to a Company/Battery/Troop Commander who has been tasked to perform wildland
fire suppression. STLMs must be STL-Crew or higher. A company/battery/troop consists of at
least four (4) platoons. The STLM will report to the BNML upon arrival at NIFC. The STLM is
attached to, and travels with, a company/battery/troop. Once at the incident, the STLM becomes
a part of the Operations Section and remains in this status until released from the incident. One
STLM will be assigned to each company/battery/troop.
Task List:













Pack for a fire assignment, including web gear, sleeping bag, boots, tent, PPE,
and programmable radio. Personal packs must not exceed 65 pounds.
Report to the BNML upon arrival at NIFC and receive a complete briefing.
Receive your assignment and assist Training Cadre with classroom training.
Coordinate with the Company/Battery/Troop Commander and MCADs on
training and safety of military crews in your assigned company/battery/troop.
Develop a close working relationship with the assigned Company/Battery/Troop
Commander.
Deploy to the incident with the Company/Battery/Troop Commander.
Check in at the ICP. Complete the ICS-211.
Keep the BNML informed of training and the fire readiness of crews. Identify
when crews are ready for wildland fire assignments.
Once crews are assigned to incident duty (after field training), provide
coordination between the Operations Section and the military
company/battery/troop. At this point, the STLM becomes a part of the IMT.
Serve as a trainer and advisor to the Company/Battery/Troop Commander. Act
as a liaison between the IMT and the military.
Participate in incident briefings and brief MCADs and Company/Battery/Troop
Commanders. Ensure that orders are given through the military chain of
command.
Prepare performance ratings.

Helpful Hints:







The STLM is an advisor/liaison to the military. This position is not a typical
Strike Team Leader assignment.
The STLM is assigned to the incident and works through the Operations
Section.
Maintain coordination with the BNML, as well as the ICS chain of command.
Ensure that communications exist between the MCADs/crew, STLM, and
Company/Battery/Troop Commanders.
Identify special skills the assigned company/battery/troop may have; e.g.,
chainsaw use, explosives, etc.
Keep the Company/Battery/Troop Commander informed of off-road vehicle use
restrictions.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

28

60.4
Military Crew Advisor (MCAD). MCADs are requested by NIFC for assignment to the
battalion to act as instructors/advisors to the military during classroom/field training and their
wildland fire suppression assignment. The MCADs must be Crew Boss or higher qualified, have
strong communications skills and be experienced on-the-job trainers. MCADs must be
physically fit and have a high interest in this assignment. An individual with a previous MCAD
and/or military experience is desirable for this position. The MCAD reports to the BNML upon
reporting to NIFC. Once at the incident, the MCAD becomes a part of an assigned military crew
and reports to the assigned STLM.
Task List:













Pack for a fire assignment including web gear, sleeping bag, tent, boots, PPE,
and programmable radio. The personal pack must not exceed 45 pounds; web
gear/briefcase, 20 pounds (65 pounds total).
Report to the BNML or BNML–Deputy upon arrival at NIFC and receiving a
thorough briefing and military crew assignment.
Follow the direction of the BNML, continuing to train/advise his/her military crew
for the field training and wildland fire suppression phase.
Ensure that the assigned military crew is properly equipped with tools and PPE.
Check in at the ICP. Complete the ICS-211.
Provide on-the-job instruction and practice of fire suppression skills. Follow the
MCAD Checklist.
Report to the BNML when the assigned military crew is ready for fire
assignment.
Serve as a liaison between the assigned military crew and assigned STLM. The
MCAD is the link between incident and military chains of command at the crew
level.
Provide for the safety of the assigned crew.
Discuss fire assignments with the officer or NCO in charge of your crew.
Keep the STLM informed of progress and concerns.
Receive assignments for the crew from the STLM and Company/Battery/Troop
Commander.

Helpful Hints:









Become familiar with military organizational structure.
Become closely attached to the assigned military crew.
Live with crew as one of them, if possible.
Remember that both the ICS and military chains of command are kept intact.
Give orders only in the case or event of unsafe practices or extreme conditions,
such as a blowup.
Keep the military crew commander informed.
Act as a trainer and advisor and not a crew leader as in a typical ICS crew
leader assignment.
Attend briefings and debriefings when asked. Use the STLM and/or BNML as a
focal point for concerns.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

60.5

Incident Commander/Area Commander.

What to Expect:













A battalion (500+ personnel) consists of a BNML, BNML–Deputy, 6 STLMs, and
26 MCADs.
A Military Advance Party will arrive prior to the battalion to size up the situation
and meet the IC general staff or AC staff. This team will remain at the incident
throughout the assignment to assist both the incident staff and the battalion.
There will be a dual command and control organization structure—ICS and
military. The IC directs military crews through the military chain of command.
The IMT provides specific work assignments and on-the-line guidance.
Military mobilization has a huge impact on the Logistics Section.
Dual chain of command is a reality. Meet often to understand each other’s
cultural differences and let one another know what can/cannot be done and
why. Staff accordingly so each critical position has a counterpart.
The military has received five hours of military firefighter classroom training
conducted by the Training Cadre with the assistance of the MCADs.
Field training will be competed after arrival at the incident. MCADs assigned to
military crews will conduct the training. A minimum of two days will be needed to
complete this training.
The BNML will advise the IC when military crews are ready for fireline
assignments.
The BNML is the IC’s link to the Battalion Commander.
MCADs are integrated into the battalion at the company/battery/troop and
platoon/crew levels.
MCADs will perform as a part of the Operations Section once the military crews
are judged ready for fireline assignments.
MCADS provide advice, guidance (through officers and NCOs) and are
supervisors of safety for the duration of the military tour.

Actions to be Taken:









Integrate the Battalion Commander’s S-2, S-3 and S-4 into the Planning and
Logistics Sections.
Arrange for transportation vehicles to be assigned to the military for the duration
of assignment.
Collocate the military at/or adjacent to the incident base camp.
Establish the specifics of any air operations and air related procedures. The IC
manages all aviation assets supporting a particular incident (military included)
and allocates by mission requirements.
Ensure that the Safety Officer gives full attention to all aspects of military aircraft
use. Consider assigning a Safety Officer to each battalion.
Attempt to maintain battalion integrity. Battalions can be divided into crews but
military chain of command must be maintained; i.e., Company/Battery/Troop
Commanders must maintain command of their respective units.
STLMs should participate in briefings.
Communicate wit the BNML and provide for communications between the
Battalion Commander and his/her higher command.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

30












Tools and replacement PPE should be issued through the Battalion S-4.
Conduct a thorough briefing with the Battalion Commander and staff on status
and strategies. Keep them informed.
Include the Battalion Commander in the planning and operations of the incident.
Define services that will be provided to the military; e.g. laundry.
Based on complexity, assign a Deputy Logistics Section Chief to the military
unit. Ensure there is continuous coordination with the Battalion S-4.
Integrate the Public Information Officer with his/her military counterpart for a
coordinated public information process.
Make sure the military commanders are welcome and have a place on the
agenda at the daily planning sessions.
ICs and Liaison Officers must attend the daily military briefing sessions to
maintain open communications.
Provide training on ICS, the ICS-215 planning process, and the Incident Action
Plan (IAP). Copies of the Fireline Handbook should be issued to
Company/Battalion Commanders and S-1, S-2, S-3 and S-4 officers.
Public Affairs Officers are very aware of command information requirements,
media relations and community relations. The military usually has an open
house for the local public. Work with the military on setting up the open houses
to minimize impact on the fire suppression mission.

Helpful Hints:














Obtain a copy of the NIFC Military Use Handbook.
Be familiar with military organizational structure and understand the dual
command and control organizations—ICS and military.
Jointly determine with the Battalion Commander the smallest operational size of
military unit that will function independently.
Determine military vehicle restrictions early in the deployment.
Allocate space and support for AAFES, or like, van.
Appoint a Deputy IC to work with the military on a regular basis.
When camps are collocated, consider holding separate briefings for the military
at their camp. This reduces the number of people at regular briefings and allows
for questions from the military.
Military crews can be very productive, but morale will drop quickly if fireline
assignments are not challenging or do not have a well-defined purpose.
Let the military know of any particular needs that you may have; e.g., chainsaw
crews, explosive use, etc. They may be able to help in remarkable ways.
Stress that the IAP determines all fireline tactics. Any changes in tactics on the
fireline will be by civilian line personnel only. Military will provide input in the
planning process but will not make any line changes.
Brief, or have the BNML brief, the IC staff on what to expect when using military
crews.
If active duty military and non-federalized National Guard personnel are located
at the same site, be sure to establish command structure and maintain separate
working relationships with each branch.
Allow for training and fire readiness of the military prior to making decisions on
the release of civilian crews.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

60.6
Logistics Section Chief (LSC). The Logistics Section Chief is an individual assigned to
the IC to provide support to the incident. Based on the complexity of the incident, consider
assigning a Deputy Logistics Chief to the military unit who would report to the Logistics Chief.

















Coordinate with Military Liaison Team and Military Advance Party to determine
needs.
Contact your military counterpart (Battalion S-4) early in the deployment and
work closely with that person.
Establish a separate camp site near the Incident Base Camp.
Provide separate shower and catering services for the military. Each battalion
will require a separate shower service.
Assess tool and equipment needs and establish procedures for daily
maintenance and distribution through military counterpart.
Provide laundry service.
Provide military transportation from camp to the incident and return—preferably
assigned for the duration of the tour.
Provide a vehicle for military and civilian overhead use.
Provide fuel for military vehicles and aircraft; establish procedures with your
military counterpart.
Plan for high resupply of PPE.
Provide lights for military camp area.
Determine military- versus civilian-supplied items.
Review military orders and establish what will be provided through the national
agreement.
Arrange for daily mail pickup.
Establish rules for military camp; inform the BNML and military counterpart of
established procedures.
Coordinate with the IC and Battalion S-4 to arrange for PX trailer.

Helpful Hints:









Develop a PPE exchange policy with Battalion S-4—daily exchanges of
equipment can be overwhelming.
Military personnel require daily showering and shaving. Plan for more than
normal wash stands, mirrors, etc. A good ratio is one wash basin/mirror for each
seven military personnel.
Obtain a list of items that military personnel brought with them.
Stress the importance of carrying plenty of water and not having a dependence
on an additional water supply.
Juices and beverages are very popular; Battery/Company/Troop Commanders
usually supply troops during shift periods with these items. Expect a higher than
average need for these items.
The military is particularly concerned with security in the camp area. Be
prepared to provide 24-hour security or make security a part of their
responsibilities.
Explain to the Battalion S-4 the need to fill canteens at established potable
water supply and not a wash/shower facility.
Military medical facilities are excellent, providing simple sick call, holding
patients overnight, etc. Also available is the capability for stabilization and

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

32






60.7

evacuation of patients to outlying hospitals. Military medevac helicopters arrive
with the battalion; they can be used for non-military medevac as needed.
Military requests for phone lines will often exceed local capabilities and become
an issue. Telephone needs should be addressed with the NIFC Advance Party.
A coordination meeting with the Battalion S-3 and S-4 staff officers is imperative
at the earliest opportunity. Items to be coordinated:

Bivouac site and size

Shower facilities

Laundry

Telephone capabilities

Latrines

Ordering procedures for supplies

Items the agency will not procure
A critical element of coordination is for the Military Liaison and staff to make a
thorough reconnaissance of the incident, contact the deploying battalion prior to
deployment and determine logistical support items needed. This coordination
must take place before embarkation.

Operations Section Chief (OSC).

Actions to be taken:















Meet with military counterparts (S-3, Operations Office and/or Military Liaison
Team) as soon as possible.
Meet with the BNML and receive a briefing on military organization and tactics.
Brief the section staff on military chain of command and what to expect.
Ensure that adequate communications are available or ordered to meet the
minimum requirements.
Coordinate with the military on possible use of military aviation for support of
incident and coordination of aviation activities. See Chapter 70.
Coordinate operations with military medevac helicopters.
Identify, plot, and provide a map of all incident helibase and heliport locations
associated with the incident to the Military Advance Party or Battalion S-3.
Military helicopters must have radio communications capability with all other
aircraft on the incident and have a civilian helicopter manager aboard the
aircraft when flying within the incident airspace.
Integrate STLMs into your section. They are advisors and liaisons to the
military.
Determine military crew capabilities and potential for special teams (e.g.,
blasters, chainsaw operators)—they may be trained and utilized.
Maintain battalion integrity. Crews may be divided into smaller units or squads.
Military command and control must be maintained.
Keep the military active with meaningful and well identified duties and goals.
Morale can deteriorate rapidly.
Ensure that your staff, particularly Branch Directors and Division Group
Supervisors, interacts with STLMs and Company/Battery/Troop Commanders
and make frequent visits to areas assigned to military.
Brief the STLM or Battalion Commanders after each shift.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

Helpful Hints:

















60.8

Obtain a copy of the Military Use Handbook.
Be familiar with military organizational structure and understand the dual
command and control organization—ICS and military.
Emphasize that the IAP determines all fireline tactics. Any tactical changes will
be by civilian line personnel only. Military will provide input in the planning
process but will not make any line changes.
Once military crews have some fireline experience, do not hesitate to assign
more difficult assignments. The military learns quickly and their teamwork
training allows faster adaptation than civilian Type 2 crews.
Clearly define expected work periods and camp return times.
Expect high-level military officer visitations on the fireline. Ensure all air
operations for VIPs are coordinated and military pilots are briefed on actions
that should not be taken (e.g., flying helicopters directly over hot spots, field
personnel, etc.).
Utilize the expertise of STLM assigned to military. They may have good ideas
for better utilization of military units.
Because of the chain of command, the military command and control concept
will not be subdivided for deployment according to ICS structure. Establish your
needs for military firefighter deployment early in the process; work with the
Battalion Commander on an organizational deployment plan. The ability to
maintain battalion integrity is important to the military.
Emphasize mopup as a critical part of the fire suppression job.
Stress and monitor safety briefings, fireline survival, sanitation, and special
areas of concern.
Ensure that VIPs on the fireline wear PPE.
Chainsaw use by the military is an issue. Military crews need chainsaw support
to accomplish their wildland fire suppression mission. A decision must be made
as to how chainsaw operations will be incorporated into the military
organization.

Use professional sawyers.

Use federal employees that are certified and have a valid Incident
Qualifications card.

Provide the S-212 course and certify military chainsaw operators.

Army and Marine engineer units have qualified chainsaw operators who
need minimal additional training to perform as sawyers.
Obtain military input for the completion of the Operational Planning Worksheet,
ICS-215.

Planning Section Chief (PSC).

Actions to be taken:



Meet with military counterparts (Battalion S-2 and S-3) as soon as possible.
Discuss any particular skill needs; the military may have a variety of skills that
can be utilized (e.g., chainsaw crews).
Obtain an organizational structure of the military units prior to military arrival, if
possible.

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

34









Determine the smallest military unit operational size which can function
independently.
Attempt to maintain battalion integrity. Battalions can be divided into smaller
than crew sizes, such as squads; however, military command and control must
be maintained (i.e., Company/Battery/Troop Commanders must maintain
command of their respective units).
Include the Battalion Commander in incident planning.
Plan ahead for demobilization of both military and civilians attached to the
military.
Clearly identify military units and leaders (civilian/military) in the IAP.
Include the Battalion Commander and STLMs in briefings and debriefings.

Helpful Hints:










60.9

Obtain a copy of the Military Use Handbook.
When not collocated, hold a separate briefing before each shift at the military
camp. This reduces the number of people at regular briefing and allows more
questions from the military. Each incident is different, be prepared to ensure
that the military receives a proper briefing.
Prepare sufficient quantities of maps to satisfy worse case situations.
The S-3 Operations Section is similar to the ICS Plans Section. Support
equipment needed by the Battalion S-3 will usually include one photocopier and
two computer terminals.
Set time lines; adhere to them for all meetings.
Document all agreements and make sure copies are distributed to both civilian
and military personnel in a timely manner.
Encourage participation from Battalion S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4 staff officers,
teamed with their ICS counterparts during the daily planning process.
Review the IAP process and implementation with the military officers. Stress
that the IAP is a tactical plan and that each IMT member has specific
implementation responsibilities. Outline procedures for emergency situations
which require alteration of the IAP.

Finance Section Chief (FSC).

Actions to be Taken:




Coordinate with the Military Liaison and Agency Comptroller to ensure
appropriate procedures for agency provided medical care for military and
civilian personnel and timekeeping for civilian personnel attached to military
operations.
Provide advice and counsel to military and IMT personnel on appropriate use of
funds in support of military operations (e.g., haircuts, telephone).

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 60

36

CHAPTER 70
AVIATION
70.1
General. When civilian aviation resources are depleted, NIFC may request the
Department of Defense (DoD) to assist the wildland firefighting effort and provide military aircraft
to support large incidents. There are some fundamental differences in the operating policies and
procedures between the agencies and military services. When assigned to an agency/incident,
the military maintains administrative control of their aircraft and operates under their own
internal policies. Military internal policies may conflict with agency procedure. The goal of this
chapter is to facilitate the use of military aviation and associated resources.
Three separate components make up the U.S. Military: The Active, the Reserve, and the
National Guard. The Active and Reserve components are under federal government control.
The National Guard units are under state control and normally do not operate outside their state
boundaries. The use of National Guard units for federal firefighting purposes within their state
must be outlined in national, regional, state or local agreements and Memorandums of
Understanding (MOUs) between federal agencies and the specific National Guard units.
Only National Guard units officially “federalized” by DoD will fall under the auspices of this
handbook. Therefore, this chapter pertains to Active, Reserve and federalized National Guard
military aviation units only.
Advanced notification and pre-assignment of active duty units prior to each fire season is
generally not possible due to military policies and other commitments. However, if fire danger is
severe, and upon receipt of a warning order, the military will coordinate with NIFC for the
identification and assignment of military units.
Military aviation units may be activated for fire operations as task forces, companies, platoons,
sections or equivalent size units. Units may send a company or battalion size aviation unit
outside its local area along with the maintenance and logistical support units required to operate
for an extended period. Units can also operate with less than a company size unit (satellite
operations) if logistical support from their base of operations can be provided. As an example,
the Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO) will coordinate the request for maintenance or logistical
support through the appropriate U.S. Army channels to U.S. Northern Command
(NORTHCOM).
When the active or reserve military is activated, agency policies and procedures will govern
aviation operations on all incidents except where noted in this handbook. When assigned to
incidents, all military aircraft will be under the operational control of the incident Air Operations
Branch. Because of the basic differences in military operations and agency procedures,
additional civilian positions beyond the scope of the Incident Command System (ICS) have
been identified to manage military aviation operations. Standard ICS terminology is used to
simplify the organizational concept whenever possible.
* The use of “operational control” throughout Chapter 70 does not mean OPCON as used by the
military. “Operational Control” used in Chapter 70 is defined tactical control (TACON). This
means the Incident or Area Commander to whom the military aircraft is assigned has the
authority to direct and control the movement of these assigned aircraft to accomplish missions
or tasks assigned by the Area or Incident Commander.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 70

70.2

Categories of Use.
70.2.1
Designated Military Mission. A flight maneuver or mission profile a particular
military unit has officially indicated it is trained and equipped to perform as part of the
unit’s overall military mission. Military helicopters will be used only for day VFR
operations for which they are trained and equipped as part of their designated military
mission and which coincide with established natural resource aviation standards.
(Refer to 70.4.7, Night Operations.) Military units will pre-identify their Designated
Military Missions. Their utilization on incidents would normally consist of:






Reconnaissance/command and control activities.
Emergency evacuation/medevac (designated military medevac
helicopters).
Crew transportation in and around the fire perimeter.
Cargo transportation, internal or external (depending on unit
designated mission).
Crew and cargo staging from airports to base camps for the purpose
of incident support.

70.2.2
Non-Designated Military Mission. This includes flight maneuver or mission
profiles for which a particular military unit has indicated it is NOT trained and equipped
to perform as part of the unit’s overall military mission. Water/retardant dropping and
external loads on longlines are examples of Non-Designated Military Missions. These
missions do not fall within normal military operational profiles. Special pilot training,
techniques, special aircraft equipment and personnel management are necessary to
ensure the safety and efficiency of Non-Designated Military Mission activity. Therefore,
qualifying a military unit for a Non-Designated Mission is a major undertaking and
requires extensive planning on the part of both the military and the agencies. Military
aviation units must be pre-identified, qualified and approved–doing this in response to a
short-term fire emergency will not be feasible. Due to scheduling problems and pilot
turnover, it is recommended that only Reserve and National Guard units be
identified for Non-Designated Military Missions, (Refer to Chapter 70.5.)

70.3

Mobilization of Military Aircraft.
70.3.1

70.3.2

Ordering. Civilian aircraft, if available, should be utilized for all incident
needs. Even when military battalions of firefighters are assigned to
incidents, civilian aircraft may be utilized for reconnaissance, command and
control, and personnel transport of the military. The short-term use of trained
DoD assets should be considered until civilian or wildland fire agency
resources become available to replace DoD assets.
Military ground forces (battalions) deployed in the field may have internal
requirements for military aircraft medevac capability.

Orders for all military aircraft will be accomplished through NIFC on an “A” (Aircraft)
request. The order(s) must specifically identify the intended missions such as medevac,
personnel transport, internal and external cargo transport, command and control, etc.,
and be accompanied by estimations of flight hours per day, pounds of cargo per day,
number of passengers to transport per day, etc. Requirements for Non-Designated

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 70

Military Missions must be noted on the request and will generate appropriate attention
and actions.
70.3.2
Allocation of Military Aircraft. Military aviation units will be assigned to
Incident Management Teams or Area Command. If assigned to Area Command
priorities and assignments of military aircraft to appropriate incidents will be
established. The organizational, logistical and planning requirements must be
commensurate with the complexity of military aviation activity.
70.3.3
Advance Party Briefings. A NIFC Advance Party will travel to the military
units’ home station to brief the unit on the Incident Command System (ICS),
organizational structure, chain-of-command and how military units are integrated into
the suppression organization. An aviation specialist from NIFC will be designated to
deliver the aviation portion of this NIFC Advance Party briefing.
In addition, a Military Advance Party often visits the incident prior to deployment. They
are briefed by the local Aviation Officer, incident Air Operations Director and possibly
the assigned Air Support Group Supervisor/Helibase Manager 1. Information about
objectives, procedures, organization, operating bases, logistical concerns, etc., is
shared at this meeting. This briefing is most valuable and should always occur.
70.3.4
Utilization of Military Aircraft. Once military aviation assets are assigned to
the incident and the approved mission designation has been identified, there will be no
delineation in the use of military or civilian aircraft. The most suitable aircraft for a
mission shall be used, regardless of ownership. Military assets should be assigned to
the incident to integrate military personnel into the incident and helibase organizations.
Military aircraft assigned to an incident should be used to their fullest potential. The
military is trained to move large amounts of cargo and passengers rapidly and
efficiently. Every effort should be made to take advantage of this military expertise.
Using the military for those missions while civilian contractors perform tactical missions
is an efficient use of resources. Optimizing contractor flight time should be a
consideration but not the overriding issue.

70.4

Operations and Safety.

The agency will have operational control of military aircraft and coordinate missions with the
military aviation commander. The military aviation organization will be integrated with the
agency Air Operations Branch to enhance planning, briefings, operational efficiency and safety.
Agency aviation policy will be followed for all operations unless the military standard is more
restrictive. Procedures found in agency aviation guides (Interagency Helicopter Operations
Guide, Transportation of HazMat, Air Tactical, etc.) will be followed except where noted in this
handbook.
70.4.1
Helicopter Management. Every military helicopter assigned to support
suppression activities shall have a military crew chief assigned. The crew chief
performs many of the duties assigned to agency helicopter managers. At a minimum,
one qualified agency helicopter manager (HELM) shall be assigned at a ratio of one
HELM for each four military helicopters. The HELM will assure proper integration of
military assets and will function as a liaison with military crew chiefs and pilots. Allowing

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 70

one HELM to manage four helicopters is approved only when all helicopters are
working out of the same helibase.
Military aviation units shall be part of an existing agency Air Operations Branch and be
directed by the incident helibase organization.
70.4.2
Air Mission Briefings. Military Operations Officers will be included in daily
agency pre- and post-operational aviation briefings and planning meetings. The Military
Operations Officers will then conduct a briefing for the military unit aircrews. Military
Officers may allow aircrews to attend the agency briefings. Following military aircraft
missions, military aircrews will debrief their officers, who should then pass the
information back to the agency Air Operations Branch.
70.4.3
Load Calculations. Agency load calculation forms are not used by/for
military aircraft. The military method of performance planning is acceptable for agency
aviation operations. The military Pilot-in-Command is required to use an aircraft
performance planning card unique to their type of aircraft. During agency incident
operations, the Military Operations Officer should be kept informed of altitudes and
temperatures aircraft will be expected to operate, so that out-of-ground effect allowable
payloads can be calculated. Agency helibase personnel are responsible for providing
the Military Crew Chief with an accurate manifest of passengers and cargo.
70.4.4
Passenger Transport. All agency and cooperator personnel are approved to
ride in military aircraft that meet the requirements outlined in this handbook. All
passengers must meet PPE requirements, receive a pre-flight safety briefing and be
manifested. The pre-flight safety briefing shall be provided by agency aviation
personnel or the Military Crew Chief.
70.4.5
Cargo Transport. All internal cargo will be secured in the aircraft in
accordance with standard military procedures. All cargo will be weighed and
manifested per agency policy. Passengers will not be carried on cargo missions unless
cargo is secured in such a manner that cargo will not be a hazard.
External load missions on short suspension lines may be a Designated Military Mission
for the unit. Military or helibase personnel will perform all rigging and attachments. All
external cargo will be weighed and manifested and a copy of the manifest provided to
the crew chief.
70.4.6
Longline or Bucket Operations. These missions are not normally identified
as a Designated Military Mission for a military unit. Utilization of military pilots and
aircraft for these missions requires extensive pre-planning; training and approval by
agency Aviation Specialists and Standardization/Check Pilots. (Refer to 70.5.3.)
If the military unit has been approved for either longline or bucket operations, a HELM
may be aboard the aircraft during the mission only when authorized by both the agency
and military aviation officers. This should only occur when the safety of the mission can
be substantially enhanced by doing so and when a Risk Analysis has been performed
as outlined in the IHOG. This practice should not be a routine occurrence and shall be
held to an absolute minimum.

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Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 70

Aerial supervision, preferably a Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO), shall be utilized
whenever military aircraft are engaged in retardant/foam/water dropping operations.
70.4.7
Night Operations. As per agency policy, aviation operations will be
conducted during daylight hours under VFR conditions (exception outlined below).
Agency direction authorizes single-engine and multi-engine helicopters to be used for
emergency night medevac operations meeting life or death criteria. Military aircraft will
only be used for night operations conforming to this life or death criteria. Military
medevac aircraft and pilots should expect to be used for emergency night operations.
Utilization of night vision goggles will depend on the assigned units SOP to include
consideration of illumination, obscuration, and meteorological conditions. Military night
vision goggle proficiency flights may be performed as required to maintain proficiency
requirements for assigned medevac responsibilities. Coordinate and schedule these
flights with the Area Command/Incident Management Team and local administrative
unit.
Federal agencies will only pay for proficiency flights that support missions directly
related to fire suppression activities. The cost of all other proficiency flights necessary
for the military to remain proficient with other mission profiles will be borne by the
military.
70.4.8
Aircrew Flight and Duty Limitations. Military units have pilot flight and duty
limitation policies and procedures in place. These differ from agency flight and duty
limitations but adequately address pilot crew rest requirements. These military policies
and procedures shall be utilized. It is essential that established flight and duty
limitations for military aviation resources be communicated to incident Air Operations
Branch Director(s) and/or agency personnel at Area Command as appropriate, to
facilitate effective use of these resources. The Air Support Group Supervisor
(ASGS)/Helibase Manager 1(HEB1) assigned to the military unit shall work with the
Military Operations Officer to ensure aircraft crew availability and mission readiness.
70.4.9
Accident/Incident Reporting and Investigation. When a military aircraft being
used on an agency incident, is involved in a mishap or incident, the agency policy on
accident/incident reporting will be followed. SAFECOMs will be completed and
submitted through normal agency channels. The military will utilize their own reporting
system as well. Sharing information on incidents and mishaps between land
management agencies and the military is essential to maintaining the safety of flight.
Aircraft accidents involving military aircraft will be investigated by the military. Agency
employees will assist in securing the accident site and facilitate the military accident
team investigations. An agency may request participation in any accident involving
military helicopters on agency incidents. Joint investigations are possible. Participation
may be in a formal or informal capacity.

70.5

Military Pilot Training and Qualifications.
70.5.1
General Military Pilot Qualifications Military aviation units enforce strict pilot
qualification standards. These standards are not always the same as those established
by civilian government agencies. The challenge will be to make these differences

41

Military Use Handbook 2006 – Chapter 70


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