This past August, DynCorp International (DI) CEO Lou Von Thaer made a trip to northern California to visit the CAL FIRE program. Since 2001, DI has been honored to hold the contract with CAL FIRE to maintain the State of California’s rotary and fixed-wing firefighting aircraft. DI also provides the pilots for CAL FIRE’s S-2 Airtanker fleet, OV-10 Command and Control aircraft, and A-200CT King Air training aircraft.
“The partnership between DynCorp International and CAL FIRE continues to provide a high level of expertise in both aerial firefighting and aviation maintenance,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “Aerial firefighting is a critical and complex endeavor and this seamless partnership helps execute our operations with a focus on safety.”
In addition to meeting with customers, Von Thaer toured the CAL FIRE hangars and met with DI colleagues working on the program. From the transmission overhaul shop to the flight line, he was impressed with the professionalism and knowledge demonstrated by everyone involved. “I was particularly excited by DI’s efforts to support CAL FIRE’s ‘Project X’ where we are working to completely regenerate and modify a retired S-2 aircraft from the stripped-down airframe to a brand new airtanker,” said Von Thaer. “The skills demonstrated and expertise gained will be invaluable to DI as we work to expand our capabilities and offerings to multiple customers.”
Von Thaer concluded his visit with a stop at the Grass Valley Air Attack Base and got to witness firsthand the launch, return and reloading of the airtankers and support OV-10s. “While I always appreciated CAL FIRE’s work, it is hard to grasp the complexity and precision required for the mission until you see it in person,” he said.
Photos from the trip can be found on DI’s Flickr album.