Skip to comments.Contract Dispute Grounds Firefighting Planes
Posted on 09/07/2011 4:57:43 AM PDT by Zakeet
Nearly half of the federal governments 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 agencys firefighting mission, leaving the federal government with 11 tankers under contract to help battle more than 50 large uncontained wildfires now burning nationwide.
Thats 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. Its not quite the way we wanted to celebrate it, Gourley said.
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
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!
I think Perry will skip the debate tonite...
I can’t cuss anymore. News like this just makes me want to whimper.
It goes on, and ON, AND ON!!!!!
No he’s wisely going to tonight’s debate.
I dunno, this seems like something nice to bring to the debate and have a national platform from which to denounce the decision.
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..
I doubt it.
I think teenagers are suspect.
Then I hope Perry mentions the subject of this thread.
'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.'
Here’s a win-win solution ... pull the planes out of California, base in Texas, and let Perry contract the services directly.
Makes one wonder, who set all the fires?
That idea is so simple it would work.
Forget about help from 0bama's Washington crowd and just do it.
They just got the winds without the rain.
And W is still blamed for Katrina. He dared to follow the law, unlike the o.
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.
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
I am hearing that FEMA is turning away volunteers who show up wanting to help fight the Texas wildfires.
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.
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.
Another anti-american, anti-red states move that Bambi turned over to his Anti-Red State Czar.
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.
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.
The planes are owned by AU. Not only that, they got a nice deal on them a few years ago.
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.
I'm no longer convinced the consequences are unintended.
Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn’t aware that there were any P-3s in civilian hands.
I hope Perry finds a way to mention this at the debate, if he can attend.
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.