BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The 910th Airlift Wing has arrived at Barksdale Air Force Base to conduct mosquito control aerial spraying missions following Hurricanes Delta and Laura.
Two U.S. Air Force Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS)-equipped C-130 aircraft from Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, will conduct spray missions over the next week to reduce the number of mosquitoes which can spread illnesses and delay hurricane recovery efforts.
At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and upon approval by the Department of Defense, U.S. Northern Command activated the 910th AW to provide this support to assist civil authorities in Louisiana.
First Air Force, Air Forces Northern Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce, commander said, “Our military men and women are privileged to be able to assist the interagency team and people of Louisiana as they recover from the recent hurricanes Delta and Laura. The Air Force Reserve’s 910th Aerial Spray Flight normally conducts spray missions at dusk and nighttime hours using night vision technology when pest insects are most active and the 910th’s men and women are longtime pros at this mission.”
The heavy rains from the recent hurricanes have resulted in large areas across southwest Louisiana where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. The aerially disbursed products will be aimed at reducing the increasing number of mosquitoes, which can spread disease and also hinder recovery workers, resulting in less time in the field.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said the C-130′s are scheduled to spray in Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jeff Davis, Lafayette, and Vermilion parishes.
The 910th Airlift Wing Aerial Spray missions use only Environmental Protection Agency registered materials.
Aerial Spray is a highly controlled application using a specially designed Modular Aerial Spray System; dispersing no more than one ounce of product per acre.
The 910th Airlift Wing is home to the DoD’s only aerial spray capability and dedicated aerial spray maintenance flight.
The last time the 910th AW supported FEMA with aerial spraying as part of hurricane support efforts was 2017, when they treated 1.4 million acres of affected areas following Hurricane Harvey.
AFNORTH, U.S. Northern Command’s U.S. Air Force air component command, is the DoD operational lead for the mission.