757th Airlift Squadron [757th AS]
The 757th Airlift Squadron was on an Active Duty Mission from the 1940's to 1973. The unit was assigned to the USAF Reserve in 1973.
The unit relocated in 1992 from 907 AW Rickenbacker ANGB OH to 910AW at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, OH.
The mission of the 757th Airlift Squadron is to maintain a large-area fixed-wing aerial application capability to control disease vectors in combat areas and on DoD installations; to maintain a large-area application capability to control vegetation and pests of vegetation on DoD installations; and to provide aerial spray training.
The unit is also tasked with:
- To serve as the DoD Training Center for the only EPA-approved Federal Aerial Application Pest Control Certification Course.
- To conduct operational testing of new pesticides, equipment and techniques.
- To provide consultation services concerning aerial applications to all DoD organizations for routine, emergency and contingency projects.
- To maintain DoD's aerial dispersal literature repository and computer deposition modeling capability.
The 757th operates 8 C-130H2 aircraft, four of which are modified to accept the Modular Aerial Spray System. Each MASS has a capacity of 2,000 gallons; which can be delivered at a flow Rate of 232 Gallons per Minute, at an altitude of 100 Feet for a total spray-on time of 8 Minutes and 30 Seconds.
The MASS is thus used to secure an area for holding dispersant, for spill cleanup plans for parking area, and for spill cleanup material for parking area.
The aerial spray mission, transferred to Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) from the 4500th Aerial Spray Flight, Langley Air Force Base Va. on April 1, 1973. The 355th Tactical Airlift Squadron (AFRC) gained the mission using UC-123K spray aircraft and an active-duty Air Force entomologist. The unit's first spray mission took place at Langley Air Force Base on May 22, 1973 to control mosquitoes.
During the first year, two research missions were conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Army at Camp Drum, N.Y. to test the efficacy of black fly control by aerial spray. The Panamanian government requested assistance from the United States in July 1973 to combat an outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the Canal Zone. Later that month the unit sprayed the Canal Zone for control of the migratory salt-marsh and adult freshwater mosquitoes with excellent results.
In mid-May 1975, aerial spray UC-123K's went to the Pacific Island of Guam to spray for mosquito control at a large Southeast Asian refugee camp. Four applications were sprayed covering more than 160,000 acres. A feared outbreak of dengue fever never materialized. The Governor of Guam recognized the work of the crews by presenting the unit a flag of Guam.
During 1977 and 1978, the unit conducted five missions for Japanese beetle control at Lajes Air Force Base, Azores. These beetles are an internationally quarantined pest that was firmly established in the Lajes local area.
In 1981, the spray planes flew missions for gypsy moth control at West Point N.Y. and Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base N.J. They also flew additional missions at various locations for Japanese beetle and mosquito control.
In 1982, the Air Force scheduled its C-123K's for deactivation except four retained at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio to support the aerial spray mission. With the deactivation of the 355th TAS the aerial spray mission transferred to the 907th TAG Headquarters.
In April 1983 at Parris Island, S.C., the aerial spray unit achieved its first successful control of biting midges in the United States removing more than 95 percent of the adult midges. Later that year, a successful vegetation control program was developed at the Utah Test and Training Range. This program saves the U.S. Government $1.5 million, annually, over previously used techniques.
In 1983, AFRC planes sprayed 217 communities and 525,024 acres in Minnesota in response to a public health emergency for Western Equine Encephalitis.
In June and July 1985, the 907th TAG aerial spray unit assisted the Department of Agriculture in their emergency control efforts for a major grasshopper infestation in Idaho. Three UC-123K aircraft as well as support personnel spent 30 days in Pocatello and Boise Idaho, spraying more than 700,000 acres at the request of Idaho's governor.
The 907th TAG aerial spray mission converted to C-130A aircraft in the spring of 1986, with operational control of the spray mission assigned to the 356th Tactical Airlift Squadron. In April 1987, a joint test of the effectiveness of the new C-130A interim aerial spraying system was accomplished with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at Avon Park Air Force Range Fla.
In March 1988, the aerial spray mission converted to the C-130E aircraft and utilized the new Modular Aerial Spray System. This system was specifically built for C-130E and H aircraft models and has the added flexibility to be used with several platforms such as ultra-high, high, low, and ultra-low-volume flow rates.
In October 1989, the aerial spray mission deployed to South Carolina at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to control vector mosquitoes in the wake of Hurricane Hugo. During that operation, which spanned 5 weeks, more than 855,000 acres were sprayed. The citizens of South Carolina were very appreciative of the protection from mosquito attacks provided by the 907th TAG aerial spraying.
The aerial spray mission was transferred in January 1992 from the 907th TAG at Rickenbacker ANGB near Columbus, Ohio to the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, located at Vienna Ohio. The mission converted from C-130E to C-130H aircraft as part of the functional transfer. The combination of the MASS with the newer, more capable H-model aircraft further enhanced the capabilities of the aerial spray mission.
Aerial spray operations were conducted in south Florida throughout September and into October 1992 following Hurricane Andrew, again at the request of FEMA. The devastation had damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands of people without shelter. In total, more than 288,000 acres were covered during the first four missions.
From November 1992 through most of 1994, the Aerial Spray air and ground crew of the 910th AW conducted extensive testing in cooperation with an international contingent of oil dispersant experts to determine the feasibility of modifying the MASS for applying dispersing materials to oil slicks. Testing was initiated by a U.S. Coast Guard request to develop a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the USAF for using Air Force Reserve personnel and equipment to apply dispersant during catastrophic oil spills. Testing has been completed showing that the aerial spray operations unit can effectively apply oil dispersant. The MOA was approved and officially signed by the USCG and USAF in 1995 and revised in 1999.
The 910th AW is host to one of only four EPA-approved Training Centers for DoD Pesticide Applicator Certification. Recently, the course has been taught in Italy and Germany to serve the overseas DoD pest management community, too.
The Unit added Geographical Information System (GIS) technology in 1996 and Differential Global Positioning System receivers to the spray aircraft in 1997.
Beginning in 1996 to the present, the noxious weed, Musk Thistle, has been controlled at Smoky Hill ANGR in Salina, Kan. using aerial spray applications.
In October 1999, the Aerial Spray Unit deployed, at the request of FEMA, in response to the mosquito infestation generated in North Carolina and Virginia in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. Severe mosquito biting rates, as high as 50 plus bites a minute, were recorded. Approximately 1.7 million acres were sprayed over Virginia and North Carolina significantly lowering the number of nuisance and vector mosquitoes that had been hampering clean-up efforts.
October 2000 saw the 757th Airlift Squadron's primary mission change from Airlift/Airdrop to specifically training for aerial spray. The aerial spray program was further broadened in the year 2000 with testing of a target specific (mosquito larvae) biological control agent, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, North Carolina. This material is applied to water where the larva of the mosquito is developing and stops production of adult mosquitoes. The agent acts specifically on the mosquito larva. Also in 2000, the unit began making herbicide applications at Saylor Creek Range near Mountain Home AFB, Idaho to control Cheat Grass.
During 2001 a new control program was developed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. Using a target specific larvicide to stop the developing mosquitoes and typical adult control with Ultra Low Volume applications, mosquito populations were reduced by reaching both life-stages at the same time.
In cooperation with Joint Services, the Aerial Spray Unit is testing the feasibility of using the C-130 MASS for critical area decontamination work.
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