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

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A C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, sprays water during a low pass at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, as part of a flight test of the 910th Airlift Wing’s unique electronic modular aerial spray system, March 25, 2024. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric M. White)

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

Based at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, is a pretty unique unit of the Department of Defense: the only one with aerial spray capability and dedicated aerial spray maintenance flight.

At the moment, the unit operates a fleet of six C-130H Hercules aircraft (they were eight at the end of 2022), equipped with specially-designed Modular Aerial Spray Systems (MASS) that are used to carry out the aerial spray mission, whose origins date back to 1947, when the Air Force created Special Aerial Spray Flight to reduce troop loss due to vector borne diseases.

This kind of mission has become common practice for the Air Force Reserve since 1973, as UC-123K spray aircraft and AF entomologists were transferred from active duty’s 4500th Aerial Spray Flight, Langley AFB, VA to AFRES’ 355th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Rickenbacker ANGB, Ohio.

Nowadays the task involves spraying for disease-carrying pests over Department of Defense (DoD) installations and anti-foliage operations on bombing ranges to decrease inadvertent brush fires and to expose unexploded ordnance (UXO) after bombings. The U.S. Air Force program also maintains a stand-by readiness capability using oil dispersing agents to neutralize openwater oil spills, and vector control over metropolitan areas after a natural disaster. The aircraft are also used for mosquito control aerial spray missions, to assist civil authorities fighting pest insects.

A 910th Airlift Wing C-130H Hercules aircraft performs an aerial spray pass over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 8. The Wing…

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