Inside DI

DynCorp International Firewatch Team Supports the U.S. Forestry Service

firewatch dyncorp intlDynCorp International’s Firewatch team supports the U.S. Forestry Service by helping suppress wildland fires. Through this program, DI provides program manager support, pilots, helicopter maintenance and geographical information systems technicians.

The team’s mission is to provide multi-faceted aerial supervision, helicopter coordination, infrared and live video downlink and mapping.

“I am very proud of our team. They work dynamically in extremely hot conditions and adjust seamlessly with each new dispatch,” said John Browning, DynCorp International program manager. “They strive for 100% aircraft readiness with an emphasis on safety first, at times performing maintenance inspections throughout the night.”

DynCorp International and the Firewatch Program

The Firewatch program was developed by the U.S. Forest Service to improve its ability to manage and suppress wildland fires. DI maintains and operates two high-tech helicopters, reconfigured Army AH-1/Bell 209 Cobra helicopters, with weapons systems removed. They have been rebuilt, rewired, and equipped with advanced systems that gather and transmit real-time information, improving operational efficiency and tactical decision-making. An infrared capability enables them to see through smoke so they can guide firefighters on the ground.

DI’s Firewatch teams include a mechanic, a pilot, a GIS data van technician, and relief crew. One team operates from Redding, Calif., and the other from Lancaster, Calif. The teams are dispatched nationwide to support Firewatch missions wherever needed. DI has held this program since 2006.

Reader Interactions


  1. Christopher Lioti says


    I’m interested in learning how to become a fire watch pilot. I am currently a structural firefighter with the cit of Stamford, CT. I will be enrolling in flight school soon, and was looking for information about the fire watch program so i can plan and prepare accordingly. Thank you very much for your time, and have a safe holiday!

    Christopher Lioti

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