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C-130H Sprayer, USAF

US Air Force sends out sprayer aircraft in wake of hurricane Harvey

The Pentagon has dispatched C-130H Sprayers from the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing residing in Youngstown, Ohio to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Published: September 11, 2017, 12:09 pm

    Spraying equipment have been fitted to the aircraft tasked with “minimizing the impact of the brutal storm’s aftermath”.

    It is a unique mission that only one unit in the Pentagon’s portfolio is trained and equipped to execute, The Drive reported.

    Four C-130Hs and 70 pilots have already arrived at Lackland AFB and immediately begin spraying operations. With recent night vision goggle training, crews can safely spray at low-level around the clock.

    According to the article, the specially outfitted C-130Hs can spray wide areas with various chemicals for “multiple applications, including dispersing oil spills, destroying invasive vegetation, and controlling insect populations”.

    “Because there is so much standing and heavily polluted water around Houston and other areas affected by the storm, insects populations are bound to explode, which poses a major health risk to the population of southeastern Texas and the first responders working to get the area back on its feet.

    “Mosquitoes that can carry and transmit malaria, west nile virus, zika, and multiple types of encephalitis will be the target of the operation,” the article stated.

    But the C-130s will treat a huge six million acres of land or more, far more territory than in previous post-hurricane operations.

    According to the USAF: “The 910th’s customized Modular Aerial Spray System [MASS] is capable of a wide-variety of applications. For mosquito control, the system uses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved and regulated material naled, which is not used in amounts large enough to cause any concern for human health, according to the EPA. The system disperses droplets small enough to land on a mosquito’s wing, using less than one ounce of naled per acre. That’s less than one shot glass for an area the size of a football field.”

    MASS differs the C-130’s Modular Aerial Fire Fighting System (MAFS). Instead of short bursts of slurry or water on fires, MASS atomizes the chemical compounds it is spraying to cover massive areas.

    “With Hurricane Irma about to plow into what looks like all of Florida, their spraying capabilities will likely be needed there as well in the near future,” The Drive added.

    During the Vietnam War, the Pentagon launched chemical warfare coined Operation Ranch Hand, with Agent Orange, for deforestation purposes.

    In 1979, a class action lawsuit was filed against major herbicide manufacturers and was settled in 1984 out of court forming Agent Orange Settlement Fund.

    “So if you live in Texas, don’t be alarmed if you see and hear a big C-130 roaring by at very low level while dumping something into the air behind it. It’s just the Air Force waging war on a microscopic level against an insect enemy,” The Drive concludes, but many Texans may be worried about the effect of the chemicals.

    The 2009 NOAA/DHS publication on the Hurricane Aerosols Microphysics Program (HAMP) describes hurricane mitigation and/or intensification by deploying aerosols inside the circulation of tropical cyclones. Published as: The Rise and Fall of THE HURRICANE AEROSOL AND MICROPHYSICS PROGRAM

    In the final days of former-President Obama’s administration the US Global Change Research Program released a report detailing the future of research on geoengineering. With the release of their report the GCRP became the first scientists in the federal government to formally recommend studies involving geoengineering. “The move will likely further normalize discussion of deliberate tinkering with the atmosphere to cool the planet, and of directly collecting carbon from the sky, both topics once verboten in the climate science community,” Science Mag predicted at the time.

    The Guardian noted, “David Schnare, an architect of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition, has lobbied the US government and testified to Senate in favour of federal support for geoengineering.”

    The United States government has a history of weather modification. In a 1996 document entitled “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather by 2025,” the US Air Force discussed a number of proposals for using weather as a weapon.

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