2024 DoD spray course lands in Florida

  • Published
  • By Capt. Donnie J. Hatheway
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Twenty-four Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 910th Airlift Wing helped facilitate the Department of Defense’s annual Aerial Spray Course in conjunction with the Florida Mosquito Control Association’s fly-in between Jan. 7-12, 2024.

Participants of the course, both military and civilian, gathered from across the country to take on this four-day course that began with instruction by five highly trained and certified medical entomologists who walked through the entirety of aerial spray application.

“The ultimate goal of pest management is that we want to control every pest the best we can, most effectively and efficiently,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Remmers, 757th Airlift Squadron medical entomologist. “We want to keep people healthy enough to keep doing their jobs.”

Once the formal instruction portion of the course was complete, the participants took part in an aerial spray demonstration, which was conducted at the Manatee County Airport, Florida. Here, water-sensitive paper was placed across the flightline to test the effectiveness of an aerial spray water application.

On the final day of the course, and prior to departing Florida, all participants were required to take and pass a final exam, which awards them their Category 11 Applicator certification. This certification is required for pest management specialists to carry out their duties.

“As medical entomologists, we hold a pesticide applicator license, which is very unique to the military,” stated 1st Lt. Bethany Eutsey, 757th medical entomologist. “We are very fortunate to have a team of mentors and facilitators for this program.”

This course would not be possible without the expertise and support of the 757th pilots, navigators, flight engineers, spray operators/loadmasters and the medical entomologists that conducted the course, the 910th public affairs office and wing leadership and the Manatee County Mosquito Control Association team.

Additionally, without the support of the 910th spray maintainers, the modular aerial spray systems (MASS) would not be functional for the demonstration portion of the course.

“Spray maintainers are the only Airmen qualified to upload the product into the MASS,” explained Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Rogers, aerial spray flight chief with the 910th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “The spray mission could not happen without the aerial spray maintenance team.”

The 910th is home to the DoD’s only large-area, fixed-wing aerial spray capability to control disease-carrying insects, pest insects and undesirable vegetation and to disperse oil spills in large bodies of water.

Collaboratively, the 910th carries out this mission across DoD installations or in response to disasters/emergencies as declared by the President of the United States.

For more information on the aerial spray mission, please visit our website at https://www.youngstown.afrc.af.mil/About/Fact-Sheets/Article/1807880/aerial-spray-mission/