VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Reservists from the 910th Airlift Wing of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station said they’ve had tremendous success on their mission to spray for mosquitoes in eastern Texas following Hurricane Harvey.
It’s been a very busy week and a half for the Vienna unit, which is the only one of its kind in the Department of Defense.
“To date, in nine days, we’ve treated over 2 million acres, which is absolutely phenomenal,” said Lt. Col. Bart Elsea.
Local Reservists were sent to Texas to help treat for mosquitoes and other pests in the wake of Hurricane Harvey last month.
State and federal authorities in the Lone Star State called them in after they realized the problem was too large for them to handle on their own.
They have been flying missions for nearly a week and a half now, covering roughly 300,000 acres each night, spraying insecticide over areas affected by last month’s hurricane.
“It’s affecting the workers. The ones that are…restoring power and things like that,” Elsea said. “So the relief that they’re getting from this is really a tremendous help to the folks down there.”
Reservists have flown mostly after dark and depended — for the first time — on night vision equipment.
Although two planes and a spare were sent initially, a third spraying plane was added. That allowed crews to treat roughly 300,000 acres a night — a little more than 2 million since the mission started.
“To put that in perspective, the entire area that we covered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was 2.8 million acres and that took us over a month to accomplish,” said MSgt. Bob Barko.
At this point, Reservists expect their mission in Texas will last another week.
There’s no word yet on whether or not they’ll be sent to Florida or the east coast to handle other storm-related spraying but they do believe their work so far will pay dividends in the future for the local base and the men and women who serve there.
910th Airlift Wing from Youngstown Air Reserve Station goes on aerial spray mission
910th Airlift Wing from Youngstown Air Reserve Station goes on aerial spray mission x