Synopsis: This Sources Sought is for Market Research and Planning purposes only.

THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT INTEND TO AWARD A CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF THIS SOURCES SOUGHT OR TO OTHERWISE PAY FOR THE INFORMATION SOLICITED.

This Sources Sought does not constitute a solicitation for proposals or the authority to enter into negotiations to award a contract. No funds have been authorized, appropriated, or received for this contemplated effort. This Sources Sought is for market research purposes only and shall not be considered as a request for proposal or as an obligation on the part of the Government to acquire any products or services. No entitlement to payment of direct or indirect costs or charges by the Government will arise as a result of contractor submission of responses to this Sources Sought or the Government’s use of such information. The Government reserves the right to reject, in whole or in part, any contractor’s input resulting from this Sources Sought. Responses to this Sources Sought will not be returned. Whatever information is provided in response to this Sources Sought may be used to assess set‐asides for the solicitation and to aide in validation of estimated rates for services requested. Any proprietary information that is submitted may be used as guidance for future solicitations however; specific information will be safeguarded as proprietary provided it is marked in accordance with FAR 3.104‐4.

Description: The purpose of this announcement is to obtain market research regarding Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program Set-Aside contractors who are capable of analysis, data gathering, writing, and group coordination and facilitation to the US Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management (FAM) office. The Government has a requirement for two Key Personnel positions (Program Manager and Air Operations Consultant) and two positions that are not Key Personnel (Technical Writer and Formal Note Taker) with an estimated 400 or 500 hours per year depending on the position. Offeror's personnel must meet the requirements identified.

It is anticipated that a solicitation for these requirements will be issued shortly after potential sources have been identified and the appropriate socio‐economic set‐asides can be determined.

Work Requirements: The Contractor shall provide specific analysis, data gathering, writing, development, coordination and group facilitation with the agency Subject Matter Experts.  The contractor will also provide technical advice to the agency for operation manuals, reports, and other publications required by the agency to ensure continued reliable standards.  The contractor may be required to perform these tasks without on-site supervision but with others that are similarly qualified.

The following duties are those contemplated by personnel identified above:

  • Analyze data and develop outcomes associated with National Aviation Safety issues and trends.
  • Develop strategic plans for aviation support missions.
  • Conduct analysis of government provided, or contractor collected personnel data and budgetary data.
  • Create supporting documents for the National Aviation Program.
  • Conduct studies to gather aircraft data and define aircraft needs. The GAO audit FY2013 identified key elements that the Forest Service desires to develop in order to possess full understanding of firefighting aircraft needs. They are analysis of aircraft types, basing options, acquisition models, aircraft capabilities, suppression methods, and aircraft performance and effectiveness.
  • Perform gap analysis of agency standards and policies against actual performance and production in field operations.
  • Identify changes to documentation to reflect an actual operations system.  The contractor may assist in the development and improvement of the system and conduct post and pre-season audits as follow-up quality assurance.
  • Provide change or transition management process guidance or facilitation to agency programs undergoing operational, policy, procedural or other change or transitions.
  • Provide technical writing support to US Forest Service Personnel in development of USFS Policy, Handbooks, Directives, and other USFS documents as directed by the Government.

The Key Personnel shall possess the following skills, experience and qualifications:

(b) Program Manager. In addition to the skills, knowledge, and abilities listed in 1.10(a) above, the Program Manager shall possess the following qualifications and experience requirements and perform all tasks in paragraph 5.3 in the PWS:

(1) Five years of experience as a helicopter or fixed wing pilot in either civilian or military (MOS or AFSC) flight operations; AND

(2) Five years of experience as an aviation ground or flight instructor. Or, Individuals with a Master’s degree in aviation, education, or closely related field may substitute a combination of education and classroom instruction experience specific to aviation for the 5 years as a ground/flight instructor.

(3) One fire season (90 days) experience as a federal firefighter or equivalent wildland fire assignment; AND

(4) Three years of experience working with wildland fire aviation operations or management in at least one of the following:

     (i) USFS Aerial Supervision.

     (ii) USFS Airtanker operations.

     (iii) USFS Smokejumper operations

     (iv) USFS Helicopter operations.

(5) Two years of experience with Safety Management Systems or Aviation Safety Programs.

(c) Air Operations Consultant (two options available)

In addition to the skills, knowledge, and abilities listed in 1.10(a) above, the Air Operations Consultant shall possess the following qualifications and experience requirements and perform all tasks in paragraph 5.3 in the PWS:

(1) One fire season’s (90 days) experience as a firefighter or equivalent wildland fire assignment; AND

(2) Three years of experience working with wildland fire aviation operations or management in at least one of the following:

     (i) USFS Aerial Supervision, ATGS.

     (ii) USFS Airtanker Base Manager.

     (iii) USFS Smokejumper Spotter or Base Manager

     (iv) USFS Helicopter Manager or Rappel Spotter

     (v) Air Operations Branch Director

Option A Pilot. In addition to the requirements listed in 1.10(a) above, Option A personnel shall meet the following requirements.

(1) Five years of experience as a fixed wing pilot in either civilian or military (MOS or AFSC) flight operations; AND

(2) Certificated aviation ground or flight instructor. Or, individuals possessing a Master’s degree in aviation, education, or a closely related field may substitute education and classroom instruction experience specific to aviation for the 5 years as a ground/flight instructor.

(3) One fire season’s (90 days) experience as a federal firefighter or equivalent wildland fire assignment; AND

(4) Three years of experience working with wildland fire aviation operations or management in at least one of the following:

     (i) USFS Aerial Supervision.

     (ii) USFS Airtanker operations.

     (iii) USFS Smokejumper operations.

     (iv) USFS Helicopter operations.

Option B Aviation Manager. In addition to the requirements listed in 1.10(a) above, Option B personnel shall meet the following requirements.

(1) Interagency Red Carded manager in either fixed or rotor wing aircraft (Need not be current); AND

(2) Carded Aviation/Fire instructor. Or, individuals possessing a Master’s degree in aviation, education, or a closely related field may substitute education and experience providing classroom or simulator instruction specific to aviation operations for the Fed Certification as a ground instructor.

Company Information Requested:

Contractors who respond to this Sources Sought are requested to provide the following written information in response to this announcement and in accordance with the directions below:

  • Company Name
  • Company Address
  • Company Point of Contacts (Name & Title)
  • Point of Contacts Numbers (Office, Cell, & Fax)
  • Company’s Size Standard (Using NAICS Code Above)
  • Type of Business (Small, Large, Etc.)
  • Previous Experience Supporting the ‘Work Requirements’ Listed Above
  • Ability to Provide Personnel with the Experience and Skill Levels Identified Above and Copies of Resumes for Personnel Able to Meet the Requirements

Cost Information Requested:

Additionally, all interested contractors shall also provide a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) that includes the following costs:

1. Provide a Range for Estimated Cost Per Hour for the Key Personnel and Non-Key Personnel identified.