President & Founder, International Wildfire Consulting Group
Reese’s distinguished, 30+ year career as a public servant, critical care nurse, and wildland firefighter culminated with his role as Chief of Tactical Air Operations (TAO) for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). In that position, Reese managed the Department’s aviation training, wildland fire chemical, and military programs. As a boots-on-the-ground wildland firefighter for many years and, ultimately, as a program leader of CAL FIRE’s world-renowned aviation organization, Reese has been a vocal advocate for development and deployment of innovative fire suppression technologies. Under his leadership, California’s aerial firefighting fleet integrated the world’s largest aerial firefighting platforms into the state’s fleet, known as VLATs – very large air tankers. Reese was the primary architect of the State of California’s Catastrophic Aviation Response Plan and Air Operations concept of operations through the Office of Emergency Services, and Cal Trans. He was awarded the California state military’s highest honor given to a civilian – the Legion of Merit Medal. After retiring from public service Reese was engaged by Alterna Capital Partners, the private equity investor group behind Global SuperTanker Services, LLC (GST), owners of the world’s largest aerial firefighting platform – a converted 747-400 aircraft with a drop capacity over 19,000 gallons. In 2020, Reese founded the International Wildfire Consulting Group (IWCG), where he has been engaged fulltime since the conversion of the 747 back into a cargo aircraft in 2021.