CAL FIRE extends contract with DynCorp

CAL FIRE OV-10A
CAL FIRE OV-10D (with the upgraded engines) at Redding, California, August 7, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

CAL FIRE has extended it’s contract with DynCorp for another year for maintaining and operating their S-2T air tankers and OV-10s, and for maintaining their UH-1H helicopters. The agreement has a total value of $27.8 million.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has extended its contract with DynCorp International (DI) to continue supporting its aviation program to help suppress and control wildfires.

“The partnership between CAL FIRE and DI allows us to meet our mission and keep the residents of California safe.”

“Our aviation fleet is a critical component to our ability to contain wildfires in California,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “The partnership between CAL FIRE and DI allows us to meet our mission and keep the residents of California safe.”

Through this contract, DI team members pilot and maintain CAL FIRE’s modified S-2T air tankers and OV-10A aircraft. Air tankers are used to drop fire retardant to help battle wildfires, while the OV-10A aircraft support aerial firefighting operations by directing the air tankers and monitoring critical areas. DI also provides maintenance support for CAL FIRE’s UH-1H helicopters that are used to transport fire fighters and equipment. Aircraft maintenance services include repair, overhaul, modification, and manufacturing of airframes, engines, propellers, helicopter rotating components, and various aircraft parts and components.

“The true heroes are the firefighters that work on the ground to stop these wildfires, and we are honored to work alongside them. DI has supported CAL FIRE since 2001, and our team members take great pride in being able to augment the efforts that save lives, property, and natural resources throughout the state of California,” said James Myles, DynAviation senior vice president, DynCorp International. “Our partnership with the CAL FIRE team has helped DI become a true leader in aerial firefighting.”

5 thoughts on “CAL FIRE extends contract with DynCorp”

  1. A note about the OV-10A vs. the OV-10D pictured above. The OV-10D has much more powerful engines and has a 4-blade prop instead of a 3-blade prop. According to Wikipedia, here are the descriptions of the engines in the two models:

    OV-10A: 2 × Garrett T76-G-410/412 turboprop, 715 hp (533 kW) each

    OV-10D: 2 × Garrett T76-G-420/421 turboprop, 1,040 hp (775.5 kW) each

    A pilot told us that the OV-10D handles like a sports car, and they love flying it.

  2. Bet it does

    Good choice to keep DynCorp

    But what is with that “1 year extension stuff.” Is that like an Army Reserve / Guard contract….after one initial enlistment of 8 yrs, one can do a 1 yr extension X2 and then its on to another 8 years…..

    USFS ought be looking at DynCorp or at the very bare minimum…Lockheed

    But I can see the USCG and USAF crutch for a long time to come when the H model C130’s come on line

  3. I am disappointed that it’s a military contractor getting these contracts. DynCorp And other military contractors have enjoyed a steady stream of money from our government in many no bid contracts. I understand is is not he case here, but I feel we will lose innovation in Aerial Firefighting when companies with deep pockets and influential lobbyists get into fire suppression. Lobbying and lack or oversight have gotten us such boondoggles like e F35 and other pork barrel projects…..

  4. On the bright side, maybe rendition planes can double duty as modular fire fighting planes when they aren’t being used I. Eastern bloc countries 🙂

  5. Cynic,

    While I feel your pain about military contractors……

    I would rather have a known quantity that does the series of ships they service now…

    Can u imagine the State of CA (CalFire) trying to do the maintenance? They just are not set up for it….hence contractors

    You could get airlines to do it (if they were set up to do other contract MX) but then one would be lining the pockets of guys like R Anderson of Delta Airlines….

    Then one could try to recruit all the former H&P, AUC, and other airtanker operators to do build a Part 145 Repair Station and do all the light and heavy maintenance….but what do you suppose the start up costs are for that little venture, even IF one was minority or a woman owned business.

    States and some LMA’s that are operating FEPP aircraft at their levels are probably discovering the costs of parts, even if acquired through GSA and others is starting to cost due to availability….consider the CL215 issue of MN and Aeroflite…….after a point in time….some airframes are just too costly to repair at the State levels..that is just best selling them to folks who have the werewithall to purchase the airframes and go further to rebuilld or just outright part the aircraft out.

    Then the facilities, insurance, hiring of mechanics and pilots…….weeellll DynCorp like some other civilian operations like Lufthansa Technic, AAR, and others have the specialization in airframes that many others are not touching

    So you are not left with many Repair Stations that can handle specific airframes and mission specific equipment such as wildland rotary and fixed wing assets.

    Some of your individual operators of helicopters may or may not be interested in bidding out for MX contracts while getting flying contracts….but I bet it could be done, but again at a COST!!

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