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Air Operations Branch Director (NQS)
6/14/2021 11:01:12 AM
Original Release
Last Major Release
NQS Position
Resource Category
Incident Management
Primary Core Capability
Operational Coordination
Secondary Core Capability
Resource Kind
Overall Function
The Air Operations Branch Director helps ensure the safe and efficient use of aviation resources.
Single resource
In conjunction with a NIMS typed team
NIMS Typed Team
Incident Management Team
In conjunction with a NIMS typed unit
NIMS Typed Unit
Description Notes
Not Specified
Supporting Core Capabilities
Type Description
Type 1The Air Operations Branch Director: 1. Establishes or transitions into a branch under the Operations Section in the Incident Command System (ICS) 2. Supervises and configures the branch with groups as necessary 3. Maintains full operational control over incident-related air and support assets or coordinates the deployment of and support for Air Operations resources 4. Assesses both manned and unmanned air resource needs and ensures the appropriate use of both under Air Operations 5. Maintains accountability for all incident air assets 6. Oversees mobilization and demobilization of air resources 7. Ensures airspace safety and deconfliction by coordinating temporary flight restrictions (TFR) and flight routes 8. Monitors all significant air resource problems and emergencies, and reports them to appropriate personnel 9. Coordinates air resource needs and use with state and federal agency representatives 10. Supports the Operations Section Chief or Incident Commander (IC) based on their requirements related to the Incident Action Plan (IAP)
Component Notes  
EducationNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Not Specified
TrainingThe NIMS Training Program defines a national baseline to guide and promote NIMS training. It provides recommendations to assist AHJs in developing their own training plans, tailored to their specific needs.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Completion of the following: 1. IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS-100 2. IS-200: Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response, ICS-200 3. ICS-300: Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents 4. ICS-400: Advanced Incident Command System for Command and General Staff – Complex Incidents 5. IS-700: National Incident Management System, An Introduction 6. IS-800: National Response Framework, An Introduction 7. E/G/L 0191: Emergency Operations Center/Incident Command System Interface 8. Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)-approved Air Support Group Supervisor course 9. AHJ-approved Introduction to Air Operations course
ExperienceMilitary rating (current or former) as a pilot or navigator may fulfill air tactical or air support experience requirement.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 1. Knowledge of air tactical operations Experience: 1. Successful completion of the National Qualification System (NQS) Position Task Book (PTB) for the NIMS Air Operations Branch Director, or equivalent AHJ documentation 2. Experience in an air operations support position
Physical/Medical FitnessThe NIMS Guideline for the NQS defines Physical/Medical Fitness levels for NQS positions.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Light
Currency1. Military experience may fulfill this currency requirement. 2. A higher position is one for which this position is a prerequisite within the Operations Section.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Functions in this position or a higher position during a qualifying incident, planned event, exercise, drill or simulation at least once every three years
Professional and Technical Licenses and CertificationsNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Not Specified
Composition and Ordering Specifications
Discuss logistics for deploying this position, such as working conditions, length of deployment, security, lodging, transportation and meals, prior to deployment.
Requestor specifies any additional qualifications necessary, based on incident complexity and needs.
FEMA, NIMS 508: Incident Management Team
FEMA, NIMS 509: Air Support Group Supervisor
FEMA, NIMS 509: Incident Commander
FEMA, NIMS 509: Operations Section Chief
FEMA, National Qualification System (NQS) Position Task Book for Air Operations Branch Director, latest edition adopted
FEMA, National Incident Management System (NIMS), October 2017
FEMA, NIMS Guideline for the NQS, November 2017
FEMA, NIMS Training Program, May 2020
FEMA, National Response Framework, October 2019
National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), Position Catalog, latest edition published