Air Force

August 22, 2014

BASH: Protecting our aircraft, Airmen

2nd Lieutenant Bari D. Wald
452 AMW public affairs

David Briseño, wildlife biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture and head of Marchs’ Bird/Anti-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, prepares to fire a 12-gauge ‘shell cracker’ into the air with his shotgun. Firing ‘shell crackers’ is one of many pyrotechnic methods used in the BASH program to emit a loud noise to scare the birds away from the March airfield.

Have you heard this one? What kind of bird doesn’t need a comb? Answer: a Bald Eagle.

What’s not to like about Bald Eagles? They are a symbol of our freedom and can be seen, wings outspread, on gold coins, the silver dollar, the half dollar and the quarter. They are among thousands of bird species that grace our country’s spacious skies. While some people view birds as a symbol of freedom, others see them as a hazard.

For David Briseño, wildlife biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture and head of March’s Bird/Anti-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, he is of the latter mindset and birds are no laughing matter, especially when it comes to aircraft.

“The goal of the BASH program is to reduce and prevent aircraft collisions with wildlife, to prevent bird strikes,” said Briseño. “It’s important because birds and other wildlife, when they collide with aircraft, can cause significant damage. The BASH program protects aircraft and human health and safety.”

Briseño patrols the March airfield daily monitoring any hazardous wildlife, especially on the runways, logging all operations, harassment or degradation work.

“Here at March we have a lot of raptors, (like) Red-Tail Hawks, the Prairie Falcon and American Kestrels. We also have other smaller birds and mammals like burrowing owls, coyotes and ground squirrels,” said Briseño.

While migratory birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Briseño says that a depredation permit is in place through the U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service to remove any species that are an immediate danger to aircraft or human health and safety.

“Our main tools that we use are pyrotechnics which are noise-making devices,” said Briseño. “The goal of pyrotechnics is to scare the birds out of an area to make sure they aren’t running a risk of colliding with any aircraft.“

To stay in front of the issue Briseño uses Bird-Monitoring surveys.

“Bird Monitoring surveys are standardized bird-point-counts that give us a way to scientifically determine a relative number of what’s out on the airfield,” Briseño said. “Over the course of a year we can identify, seasonally, what wildlife we can expect to come upon (and) how many we can expect to deal with. That helps us to focus our management efforts with the BASH program.”

According to Air Force Safety Center statistics, during fiscal year 2013 there were 4,230 wildlife strikes, down from 4,768 the previous fiscal year.

When bird-strikes occur at March, remains must be identified by experts.

“All our wildlife strikes result in us sending remains (feathers, fur, snarge) and pictures to the Smithsonian Bird Division for identification. They do a fantastic job of giving us the family and species of the wildlife struck so the Air Force can get historic trends. We have a great reputation with the Bird Division in that we have been very good about sending them 100 percent of our samples,” said Lt. Col. William Adelman, chief of Flight Safety, 452nd Air Mobility Wing.

Those trends are used to understand bird populations in and around our air fields so the Air Force can implement necessary resources to keep its assets safe and mission-ready to protect this country and its symbols of freedom.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
breast-cancer-awareness

A story of survival and resilience

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — On April 16, 2007, I got a call no expecting mother would dream of receiving. “We got the results from your biopsy and it came back malignant.” Did the doctor just say I had cancer? I fi...
 
 

UltimateMe to help military families get healthier

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) is working with the Sharecare team to support the launch of UltimateMe, a secure, personalized online wellness platform to help members of the military community assess, manage and improve their health and performance. The new platform expands the access to wellness programs and resources for service members and...
 
 
U. S. Air Force artwork

Hundreds in 452nd held as POWs in WWII

U. S. Air Force artwork Depiction of a crippled B-17 settled on the ground. (Tenth in an 11-part series that was first run in the Beacon in 2007) More than 750 men from the 452nd Bombardment Group were shot down in B-17 Flying ...
 

 
Nuke-Medal-graphic

Air Force releases criteria for new service medal

U.S. Air Force courtesy graphic WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, following Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James’ May 2...
 
 
DoD

Obama activates reserves for Operation United Assistance

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — President Barack Obama has authorized the Defense Department to call up a small number of National Guard or reserve troops that possess special skills needed to aid efforts in stopping the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa. Obama issued an executive order yesterday authorizing the secretaries of Defense and...
 
 
Halloween-Safety

Halloween safety tips for 2014

Here are a few safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission can protect children who plan to go trick-or-treating this Halloween. Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin