Air Force Reserve C-130J-30 Super Hercules Prepare To Take Over Aerial Spray Ops From C-130Hs

Spray mission

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Spray mission
A C-130J-30 Tremendous Hercules plane from Keesler Air Pressure Base, Mississippi, sprays water throughout a low go at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, as a part of a flight take a look at of the 910th Airlift Wing’s distinctive digital modular aerial spray system, March 25, 2024. (U.S. Air Pressure picture by Eric M. White)

The 910th AW (Airlift Wing) prepares to improve its C-130H Hercules fleet to new C-130J Tremendous Hercules for aerial spray missions.

Based mostly at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, is a reasonably distinctive unit of the Division of Protection: the one one with aerial spray capability and devoted aerial spray upkeep flight.

In the intervening time, the unit operates a fleet of six C-130H Hercules plane (they have been eight at the end of 2022), outfitted with specially-designed Modular Aerial Spray Techniques (MASS) which can be used to hold out the aerial spray mission, whose origins date again to 1947, when the Air Pressure created Particular Aerial Spray Flight to cut back troop loss resulting from vector borne illnesses.

This sort of mission has develop into widespread observe for the Air Pressure Reserve since 1973, as UC-123K spray plane and AF entomologists have been transferred from energetic responsibility’s 4500th Aerial Spray Flight, Langley AFB, VA to AFRES’ 355th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Rickenbacker ANGB, Ohio.

These days the duty includes spraying for disease-carrying pests over Division of Protection (DoD) installations and anti-foliage operations on bombing ranges to lower inadvertent brush fires and to show unexploded ordnance (UXO) after bombings. The U.S. Air Pressure program additionally maintains a stand-by readiness functionality utilizing oil dispersing brokers to neutralize openwater oil spills, and vector management over metropolitan areas after a pure catastrophe. The plane are additionally used for mosquito management aerial spray missions, to help civil authorities combating pest bugs.

A 910th Airlift Wing C-130H Hercules plane performs an aerial spray go over the Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary, March 8. The Wing launched its 2018 spray season Mar. 5-16, 2018, on the vary, close to Hill AFB, Utah, to remove Halogeton, an invasive weed species that poses a threat to Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) crews on the vary. The 910th operates the Division of Protection’s (DOD) solely giant space fixed-wing aerial spray functionality to regulate vegetation, disease-carrying bugs, pest bugs, and to disperse oil spills in giant our bodies of water. (U.S. Air Pressure picture/Grasp Sgt. Bob Barko Jr.)

Based on official Air Pressure knowledge, the 910th Aerial Spray Flight conducts as many as 25 recurring annual missions on 12 army installations in 9 states, and in some circumstances, over communities surrounding these DoD areas. As well as, this Air Pressure Reserve Command particular mission unit has responded to nationwide disasters reminiscent of Hurricanes Katrina/Rita in 2005, Hurricane Gustav in 2008, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Hurricanes Laura/Delta in 2020.

Whereas not very well-known, the record of operations the 910th have taken place is pretty impressive:

  • Might 22, 1973, first AFRES aerial spray mission carried out at Langley AFB, VA
  • July 1973, assisted Panama combating Japanese Equine Encephalitis outbreak by controlling Canal Zone migratory salt-marsh and grownup freshwater mosquitoes; carried out analysis with U.S. Military at Fort Drum, NY, testing efficacy aerial spray on black fly management
  • 1975, over 160,000 acres of Guam refugee camp handled to preempt Dengue fever outbreak
  • 1977 and 1978, carried out 5 missions controlling an internationally quarantined Japanese beetle infestation at Lajes Air Pressure Base, Azores
  • 1981, aerial spray missions for gypsy moth management at West Level, NY, Fort Dix, NJ; McGuire AFB, NJ
  • 1983, pioneered aerial spray management of biting midges at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot, SC; additionally established vegetation management program on the Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary saving U.S. Authorities $1.5 million yearly; additionally handled 217 communities and 525,024 acres responding to a public well being emergency for Western Equine Encephalitis in Minnesota
  • 1985, assisted Division of Agriculture in emergency management efforts over greater than 700,000 acres of Idaho for a serious grasshopper infestation
  • 1986, C-130A’s exchange UC-123K’s after joint testing with the Division of Agriculture verified
  • C-130 aerial spray effectiveness
  • 1988, C-130E’s changed C-130A’s, the Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) was developed for
  • C-130 operations; MASS is able to extremely low to extremely excessive quantity sprays
  • 1989, FEMA supported treating over 855,000 acres in South Carolina after Hurricane Hugo
  • January 1992, AFRC aerial spray mission transferred from Rickenbacker ANGB to Youngstown ARS, Ohio; C-130H’s plane changed C-130E’s; first ever devoted spray upkeep flight established
  • 1992, supported FEMA by offering mosquito administration within the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, sprayed over 288,000 acres in Florida
  • 1995, Memorandum of Settlement (MOA) between US Coast Guard and USAFR to use dispersant throughout catastrophic oil spills established
  • 1996, unit added Geographical Data System (GIS) know-how and Differential World Positioning System receivers to spray plane
  • October 1999, supported FEMA by offering mosquito infestation within the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd, sprayed roughly 1.7 million acres over VA and NC
  • 2000, partnered with fireplace prevention program at Saylor Creek Vary, Mountain Dwelling AFB, Idaho, controlling cheatgrass with aerial functions permitting native prairie grasses to reestablish because the dominate species and scale back the potential for vary fires
  • 2001, new groundbreaking mission at Grand Forks Air Pressure Base, ND interrupting larval improvement and treating for flying grownup mosquitoes on the similar time
  • 2005, new mosquito management mission at Minot Air Pressure Base, ND established
  • 2005, supported FEMA by treating 2,880,662 acres over Louisiana and Texas to regulate for mosquitoes and filth flies within the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The mission is the most important aerial spray mission ever carried out beneath AFRC.
  • 2006, multi-agency full scale oil spill workout routines carried out off the coast of San Francisco, CA
  • 2008, multi-agency full scale oil spill workout routines carried out off the coast of Brownsville, TX
  • 2007, added Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA treating areas in prohibited airspace
  • 2008, after a number of years within the works and with assistance from Congressman Tim Ryan, $3 million was supplied to boost the aerial spray mission with the newer Wingman GX aerial spray concentrating on GPS utilizing the newest pc know-how and pesticide drift modeling accessible; moreover, the MASS was upgraded with new amount indicating programs, changing the 22-year-old models
  • Sept-Oct 2008, the Wingman system was examined throughout post-hurricane Gustav mosquito sprays the place greater than 771,000 acres have been handled in Louisiana
  • 2009, Homestead Air Reserve Base, FL is the primary ever all Reserve air set up spray mission treating Homestead ARB and surrounding Miami-Dade County
  • Might 2009, the spray flight carried out the business’s largest efficient larvicide aerial spray software over Military Corps of Engineers land close to Williston, ND.; reductions in larval mosquito populations by over 95 % in sampled areas have been demonstrated
  • Might-June 2010, the 757th Airlift Squadron was tasked to conduct aerial spray for Operation Deep Water Horizon; the aim of this mission was to make use of oil dispersing brokers to help in neutralizing the oil spill attributable to the April 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform within the Gulf of Mexico; this mission marked the primary actual world software of oil spill dispersants by the 910th Airlift Wing; fling 93 sorties, overlaying greater than 30,000 acres over water
  • Might 2011, multi-agency full scale oil spill workout routines carried out off the coast of San Diego, CA
  • Feb 2012, 910th Airlift Wing hosts an business day at YARS to usher in business specialists to supply inputs for improvement of alternative for unit’s present Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS)
  • Jan 2013, a staff from the 910th aerial spray mission facilitates the DoD Aerial Spray Course, a certification requirement for pest management professionals, on the new state-of-the-art Lee County Mosquito Management District Coaching Middle in Lehigh Acres, Florida.
  • Sept. 2017, the 757th Airlift Squadron carried out 28 sorties to deal with greater than 2.7 million acres in Texas with insecticide within the wake of Hurricane Harvey; This was the primary emergency mosquito-control mission carried out with Night time Imaginative and prescient Goggles (NGVs).

These days, the 910th Aerial Spray Mission staff is working with Ohio-based Battelle to construct the subsequent era MASS system to interchange the ageing programs being utilized in ongoing operations in addition to with the C-130J-30 plane from the 403rd Wing AFRES, to organize to improve the fleet from the outdated C-130H Hercules, operated since 1986, to the extra trendy Tremendous Hercules.

A 910th Airlift Wing C-130H Hercules sits on the ramp at Hill Air Pressure Base (AFB), Utah, March 7, 2018 throughout an aerial spray mission. The Wing launched its 2018 spray season March 5-16, 2018, on the Utah Take a look at and Coaching Vary, close to Hill AFB, to remove Halogeton, an invasive weed species that poses a threat to Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) crews on the vary. The 910th operates the Division of Protection’s (DOD) solely giant space fixed-wing aerial spray functionality to regulate vegetation, disease-carrying bugs, pest bugs, and to disperse oil spills in giant our bodies of water. (U.S. Air Pressure picture/Senior Airman Jeffrey Grossi)

From the C-130H to the C-130J

Testing has been lately carried out at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, to find out if and the way the brand new airframe might carry out the identical mission because the shorter H-models.

The take a look at began on March 21, 2024, when for the primary time within the historical past of DoD aerial spray, the 910th AW’s distinctive digital modular aerial spray system was put in right into a J-model from Keesler Air Pressure Base, Mississippi. The take a look at was handed on March 25, 2024, with a profitable spray software utilizing water at Youngstown ARS.

To hold out the take a look at, the 910th Upkeep Group labored hand-in-hand with members of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Advanced C-130 System Program Workplace to regulate the J-model’s electrical system to energy the EMASS and put in spray-modified troop doorways to accommodate the spray booms.

A C-130J-30 Tremendous Hercules plane from Keesler Air Pressure Base, Mississippi, sprays water throughout a low go at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, as a part of a flight take a look at of the 910th Airlift Wing’s distinctive digital modular aerial spray system, March 25, 2024. The flight take a look at was carried out to make sure the operability of the spray system aboard the airframe because the 910th prepares to improve its ageing C-130H Hercules fleet to new C-130J-30 fashions. The undertaking was carried out in partnership between 910th Airlift Wing upkeep personnel and aerial spray specialists, members of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Advanced C-130 System Program Workplace, Georgia, and take a look at flight aircrew from the Little Rock Air Pressure Base, Arkansas. (U.S. Air Pressure picture by Eric M. White)

Throughout its first flight within the new configuration, the J-model was piloted by a professional Air Nationwide Guard – Air Pressure Reserve Command Take a look at Middle aircrew from Little Rock Air Pressure Base, Arkansas, whereas 757th Airlift Squadron loadmasters operated the EMASS on board.

To substantiate the EMASS’s functionality and compatibility aboard the J-model, droplet pattern playing cards have been mounted to the rear fuselage and tail of the plane to check potential swath loss and laid throughout Youngstown ARS’s runway to check swath drift and density.

Curiously, whereas the performance was a hit, assessing the power of the J-model to hold out the aerial spray mission, the particular mission’s crew allotment continues to be being reviewed: “The J-model at the moment appears as succesful as an H-model for aerial spray,” mentioned Lt. Col. Karl Haagsma, the chief entomologist assigned to the 757th AS. “However there are some important hurdles to be overcome resulting from redundancies in navigator and flight engineer positions.”

The 910th AW’s three-year plane conversion window is projected to start mid 2024 with the plane swapping out one for one inside that interval. Till the newer J-models exchange the fleet, the unit will proceed to function the H-models alongside the Tremendous Hercules. The 910th AW ought to ultimately function eight C-130J-30 within the aerial spray mission.

David Cenciotti is a journalist primarily based in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, overlaying aviation, protection, battle, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Pressure, a personal pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.

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