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Contract Dispute Grounds Firefighting Planes
Human Events ^ | September 7, 2011 | Audrey Hudson

Posted on 09/07/2011 4:57:43 AM PDT by Zakeet

Nearly half of the federal government’s firefighting air tankers are siting idle at a California airport, grounded by the Obama administration in a contract dispute just weeks before wildfires swept through Texas killing a mother and her child, and destroying 100,000 acres.

The massive blazes forced Texas Gov. and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry​ to abruptly call off a campaign appearance in South Carolina earlier this week to respond to the crisis, and may force him to cancel his first debate appearance Wednesday night.

The U.S. Forest Service terminated the contract with Aero Union five weeks ago to operate seven P-3 Orions that are critical to the agency’s firefighting mission, leaving the federal government with 11 tankers under contract to help battle more than 50 large uncontained wildfires now burning nationwide.

That’s down from 40 tankers used by the Forest Service just a decade ago, according to Rep. Dan Lungren (R.-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Administration, who is challenging the decision to dismiss the largest provider of heavy air-tanker support to the federal government.

“We were certified to fly all season, but they just terminated us and threw 60 people out of work and left the country vulnerable to fires, as you can see right now in Texas,” said Britt Gourley, CEO for Aero Union.

“This is our 50th anniversary fighting fires for the Forest Service. It’s not quite the way we wanted to celebrate it,” Gourley said.

(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: aircraft; firefightingplanes; il76; israel; russia; texas; texasfires; waterbomber; wildfires

If those guys were big Rat donors ... and if they were a union shop ... and if they were flying Canadian made planes instead of that Lockheed junk ... and if they weren't trying to help out a Red State ... then certainly, there would be no problem!

1 posted on 09/07/2011 4:57:47 AM PDT by Zakeet
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To: Zakeet

I think Perry will skip the debate tonite...


2 posted on 09/07/2011 5:00:38 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the EARTH...it's the ONLY planet with CHOCOLATE!!!)
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To: Zakeet

I can’t cuss anymore. News like this just makes me want to whimper.

It goes on, and ON, AND ON!!!!!


3 posted on 09/07/2011 5:01:38 AM PDT by Ronin (Obamanation has replaced Bizarroworld as the most twisted place in the universe.)
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To: ken5050

No he’s wisely going to tonight’s debate.


4 posted on 09/07/2011 5:04:22 AM PDT by cripplecreek (A vote for Amnesty is a vote for a Permenant Democrat majority. ..Choose well.)
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To: Zakeet
There is speculation now that these fires were set on purpose. Is it possible they were started to get Perry off of the campaign trail?
5 posted on 09/07/2011 5:04:40 AM PDT by gdzla
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To: ken5050
I think Perry will skip the debate tonite...

I dunno, this seems like something nice to bring to the debate and have a national platform from which to denounce the decision.

6 posted on 09/07/2011 5:05:11 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (So much stress was put on Bush's Fault that it finally let go, magnitude 6)
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To: Zakeet

Later


7 posted on 09/07/2011 5:09:15 AM PDT by I_be_tc
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To: NonValueAdded; cripplecreek
Why he shouldn't attend the debate:

1. If he goes, some will slam him for doing so.

2. It's not a real debate..way too many on stage..just a nunch of 30 secoind sound bites...he's the leader of the polls..why give fringe candidates a chance to whack away at him?

3. It's NBC/MSNBC/Politico..no friends of his.

4. There will be many more..indeed a few more this month..

8 posted on 09/07/2011 5:09:40 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the EARTH...it's the ONLY planet with CHOCOLATE!!!)
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To: gdzla
Is it possible they were started to get Perry off of the campaign trail?

I doubt it.

I think teenagers are suspect.

9 posted on 09/07/2011 5:10:10 AM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: Zakeet
Aero Union closing; Chico workers lose jobs
10 posted on 09/07/2011 5:10:46 AM PDT by Palter (Even liberals need jobs.)
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To: cripplecreek

Then I hope Perry mentions the subject of this thread.


11 posted on 09/07/2011 5:15:27 AM PDT by mewzilla (Forget a third party. We need a second one.)
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To: lonestar
Well, I read one of the more bizarre paragraphs in a while last night.

Governor races back to Texas after hundreds of homes lost in fire-ravaged state

'Officials have ruled out arson as the cause of the fires, with blame instead being attributed to tropical depression Lee, which was graded as a more serious tropical storm when it came ashore in southern Louisiana early on Sunday.'

12 posted on 09/07/2011 5:15:34 AM PDT by Palter (Even liberals need jobs.)
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To: Zakeet

Here’s a win-win solution ... pull the planes out of California, base in Texas, and let Perry contract the services directly.


13 posted on 09/07/2011 5:16:12 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (So much stress was put on Bush's Fault that it finally let go, magnitude 6)
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To: Zakeet

Makes one wonder, who set all the fires?


14 posted on 09/07/2011 5:16:15 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: Zakeet
Planes parked on the ground when they are needed is reminiscent of Ray Nagins New Orleans parked school buses.
15 posted on 09/07/2011 5:17:17 AM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: Zakeet
Here's an interesting blast from the past [2004]... Forest Service Putting Up Smokescreen About Using Super Tanker? ... Imagine Perry reaching out to the Russians for assistance? Click on the keyword "waterbomber" and see how the Russians have helped across Europe. Just a thought ...
16 posted on 09/07/2011 5:24:20 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (So much stress was put on Bush's Fault that it finally let go, magnitude 6)
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To: NonValueAdded
Here’s a win-win solution ... pull the planes out of California, base in Texas, and let Perry contract the services directly.

Call Perry.

That idea is so simple it would work.

Forget about help from 0bama's Washington crowd and just do it.

17 posted on 09/07/2011 5:24:44 AM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: Palter

They just got the winds without the rain.


18 posted on 09/07/2011 5:24:49 AM PDT by CajunConservative ( Leadership. It is defined by action, not position.)
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To: TYVets
'Planes parked on the ground when they are needed is reminiscent of Ray Nagins New Orleans parked school buses.'

And W is still blamed for Katrina. He dared to follow the law, unlike the o.

19 posted on 09/07/2011 5:24:57 AM PDT by mathluv ( Conservative first and foremost, republican second - GO SARAHCUDA!!!!)
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To: Palter
with blame instead being attributed to tropical depression Lee

Translated (LOL!) I think that means that Lee caused a lot of strong winds without any rain. Several fires were started by electrical lines blown down by wind...and of course, the wind was making the fires worse.

I saw a fire in College Station city limits Sunday that was caused by electrical lines being knocked down.

20 posted on 09/07/2011 5:26:31 AM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: Zakeet

The way is clear. If they have no contract the planes are free to be contracted directly to the State of Texas.

Texas should bypass the forest service and get the planes in the air.....if they are in fact needed


21 posted on 09/07/2011 5:28:38 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ....Rats carry plague)
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To: Zakeet

I am hearing that FEMA is turning away volunteers who show up wanting to help fight the Texas wildfires.

Where’s Whorealdo?


22 posted on 09/07/2011 5:30:33 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: jacknhoo
Makes one wonder, who set all the fires?

It appears that a couple of teenager girls and a couple teenage boys were the fire bugs who initiated the Leander TX fires that destroyed many homes and burned up hundreds of acres.

Four very good candidates for the new experimental lethal injection drugs.

23 posted on 09/07/2011 5:38:00 AM PDT by The Theophilus (Obama's Key to win 2012: Ban Haloperidol)
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To: bert

Ithink I read somewhere here that 60 people are out of work.

The planes cannot fly without those people.

Probably most of them could be rehired, but it would take time. They should never have been laid off to begin with when this country has a history of fires. Why aren’t environmental folks screaming about this with all of the smoke and Global warming large fires cause.

If there is a stupid solution for something, Obama seems able to find it. Laying off these tankers was the work of a damned fool.


24 posted on 09/07/2011 5:43:01 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Venturer
If there is a stupid solution for something, Obama seems able to find it. Laying off these tankers was the work of a damned fool.

Another anti-american, anti-red states move that Bambi turned over to his Anti-Red State Czar.

25 posted on 09/07/2011 5:50:19 AM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: Zakeet

For those keeping track of Democrats “Unintended Consequences” of their acts, or actions this is another for the list.

Just prior to entering fire season they cancel fire fighting aircraft claiming the aircraft are poorly maintained, and that they have enough other resources, and don’t need Aero Union.

If they have the resources where are they, and who owns them?

Yes I know Aero Union isn’t the only player, but they have been a reliable, and experienced player for a long time, and it makes NO SENSE AT ALL TO DIVEST ONESELF OF FIREFIGHTING ASSETS AT THE BEGINNING OF FIRE SEASON.


26 posted on 09/07/2011 5:51:38 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: rockinqsranch

Presumably, the planes are owned by the US government.

The US government has plenty of P-3 pilots and maintenance personnel in its employ. It’s called the “US Navy”.

As Commander in Chief, Obomba could fix this problem right away.

But he wants to be able to blame this on Republicans. Never let a crisis go to waste.


27 posted on 09/07/2011 6:08:01 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Fresh Wind

The planes are owned by AU. Not only that, they got a nice deal on them a few years ago.


28 posted on 09/07/2011 6:20:31 AM PDT by Palter (Even liberals need jobs.)
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To: Fresh Wind

It is my understanding that Aero Union retrofits the military planes (P-3’s) for fire fighting, and contracts to the Forestry Service those retrofitted aircraft to fight the fires.

The existing P-3’s it is my understanding remaining in the inventory of the military are not retrofitted for that sort of service, therefore they can’t be of any use in fire fighting.

I agree the Republicans will somehow be blamed, but the timing of this action by the obama masturbation leads me to believe it is another typical Democrat action again poorly conceived in the typical Democrat manner that the typical “unintended consequences” monster once again rears its ugly head.

As I said it makes no sense to divest themselves of fire fighting assets at the beginning of fire season, but perhaps, and on second thought some major donor to the Democrat Party may have a dime or two involved in some other potential asset.


29 posted on 09/07/2011 6:23:54 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: rockinqsranch
... it is another typical Democrat action again poorly conceived in the typical Democrat manner that the typical “unintended consequences” monster once again rears its ugly head.

I'm no longer convinced the consequences are unintended.

30 posted on 09/07/2011 6:41:54 AM PDT by Real Cynic No More (The mighty zero, obama,does not warrant the respect necessary for his name to be capitalized.)
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To: rockinqsranch

Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn’t aware that there were any P-3s in civilian hands.


31 posted on 09/07/2011 7:39:18 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Zakeet

I hope Perry finds a way to mention this at the debate, if he can attend.


32 posted on 09/07/2011 10:31:10 AM PDT by MizSterious (Apparently, there's no honor when it comes to someone else's retirement funds.)
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To: Zakeet
Instead of debating; Perry should go California where these aircraft are sitting.
Call a press conference; and plead for the President to free these resources up to help the people of Texas.
33 posted on 09/07/2011 10:35:01 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (I love how the FR spellchecker doesn't recognize the word "Obama")
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To: Zakeet

Should Governor Goodhair become the next President I just wonder if he will have the cajones that President Reagan had and fire federal union workers/thugs who try to hi-jack the American tax payer like the ATC union thugs tried to do!? I kind of doubt it.


34 posted on 09/07/2011 10:49:03 AM PDT by Ron H. (Loving my Deering Goodtime 2 Classic 5-stringer)
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