Two CWN large airtankers to be activated

An MD-87 and a 737

Tanker 101, an MD-87, at Jeffco
Tanker 101, an MD-87, at Jeffco, May, 2020; a sister ship to the one activated on CWN. Photo by @skippyscage

The Forest Service has activated two Call When Needed large air tankers for a 90-day Mandatory Availability Period. This is a guaranteed 90-day contract, not the typical CWN arrangement when they can work a few days and then be sent home.

Tanker 104 (an Erickson Aero Tanker MD-87) is scheduled to start today, May 30, and Tanker 137 (a Coulson B-737) will start June 1. Their administrative bases will be Porterville and McCall, respectively.

After these are on board, there will be 15 large and very large federal air tankers on duty. For the United States. In 2002 there were 44 on exclusive use contracts.

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6 thoughts on “Two CWN large airtankers to be activated”

  1. With this impressive amount of fire fighting aircraft (fixed/rotary) available it will be an interesting study to see if containment will occur in the first burning period on threatening to escape fires. The Forest Service past record of, too much too late, hopefully will be put to rest if dispatching is expeditious. Follow Dr. Gabberts Rx.

  2. Can you define “administrative base” ? There’s definitely no 737 that’s going to operate out of McCall right now. I don’t believe they’re serviceable there, and the tanker base ramp is closed for construction.

  3. to answer Silvers question, the admin base for any aircraft is the location of the contracting officer representative (COR) assigned to that aircraft. Basically the COR processes and submits for payment all the invoices and in and out of service paperwork/clearances. the aircraft may never visit it’s admin base in a given season, and doesn’t need to.

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