Vienna’s 910th Airlift Wing sprays over 2 million acres in 9 days

The Vienna unit, which is the only one of its kind in the Department of Defense, was called in by state and federal authorities in Texas for Hurricane Harvey relief

Courtesy of the Department of Defense// JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A group of Air Force Reserve ground support personnel, assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing based at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, send off one of the 910th’s specially modified C-130 Hercules aircraft with an ‘O-H-I-O’ as the aircrew taxis the plane for takeoff from the Kelly Field Annex flightline here, Sept. 10, 2017. The 910th Airlift Wing operates the Department of Defense’s only aerial spray capability to control pest insect populations, eliminate undesired and invasive vegetation and disperse oil spills in large bodies of water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) have requested the support of the 910th to treat potentially millions of affected acres for mosquito control purposes. Due to large amounts of standing, polluted water, the numbers of pest insects are increasing significantly. This situation is impacting first responders and recovery workers as clean-up and repair efforts continue. More than 90 Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen are working here to support the 910th’s mosquito control aerial spray operations including members of the 910th’s Aerial Spray Flight, Aerial Spray Maintenance Flight, Operations Support Squadron, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Force Support Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron and the Wing Public Affairs Office. The 502nd Operations Support Squadron, based at the Kelly Field Annex, is also providing invaluable support to the aerial spray mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr.)
Courtesy of the Department of Defense// JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A group of Air Force Reserve ground support personnel, assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing based at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, send off one of the 910th’s specially modified C-130 Hercules aircraft with an ‘O-H-I-O’ as the aircrew taxis the plane for takeoff from the Kelly Field Annex flightline here, Sept. 10, 2017. The 910th Airlift Wing operates the Department of Defense’s only aerial spray capability to control pest insect populations, eliminate undesired and invasive vegetation and disperse oil spills in large bodies of water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) have requested the support of the 910th to treat potentially millions of affected acres for mosquito control purposes. Due to large amounts of standing, polluted water, the numbers of pest insects are increasing significantly. This situation is impacting first responders and recovery workers as clean-up and repair efforts continue. More than 90 Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen are working here to support the 910th’s mosquito control aerial spray operations including members of the 910th’s Aerial Spray Flight, Aerial Spray Maintenance Flight, Operations Support Squadron, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Force Support Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron and the Wing Public Affairs Office. The 502nd Operations Support Squadron, based at the Kelly Field Annex, is also providing invaluable support to the aerial spray mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr.)


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.

.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s