Airlift wing activated for spraying duty in Texas
The Air Force Reserve 910th Airlift Wing’s aerial spray unit has been deployed to assist with recovery efforts in eastern Texas following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.
The 910th, based at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township, operates the Department of Defense’s only aerial spray system which is capable of controlling pest insect populations, eliminating undesired and invasive vegetation and dispersing oil spills in large bodies of water.
Four Air Force Reserve C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 757th Airlift Squadron here and nearly 70 reserve citizen airmen are scheduled to fly to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, today to begin aerial spray applications in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Authorities have requested the 910th to potentially treat more than 6 million affected acres.
Because of the large amounts of standing, polluted water, populations of pest insects that can transmit diseases are increasing significantly and posing a health risk to rescue workers and residents of Houston. This mission will primarily target mosquitoes which are capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, Zika and various types of encephalitis.