Congressman Tim Ryan Applauds the Youngstown Air Reserve Station for Their Response to Hurricane Harvey

Sep 20, 2017

Youngstown, Ohio -- More than 90 Reserve Airmen, based at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) with the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing are providing critical support to Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in Texas. The Airmen arrived in San Antonio, Texas on Sept. 8, 2017, and have already treated over 1.1 million acres in Eastern Texas with EPA approved aerial spray specifically targeting mosquitos capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria, West Nile, Zika, and various types of encephalitis. This service was identified as a critical lesson learned from Hurricane Katrina where first responders and recovery workers were inflicted with nearly 100 mosquito bites per minute. The 910th Air Wing’s hard work reduced this number by over 95 percent. 

“I am incredibly proud of all the servicemembers who have stepped in to assist the greater Houston region recover from this historic storm. I am especially proud of the servicemembers from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station who are engaged in these efforts. Due to large amounts of standing, polluted water, the numbers of pests in the region have increased significantly. This has the potential to hamper first responders and recovery workers as recovery efforts continue. This highlights the importance of the service that YARS plays not only in our local community, but across the country,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.

The deployed personnel included members of the 910th’s Aerial Spray Flight, Aerial Spray Maintenance Flight, Operations Support Squadron, Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Maintenance Squadron, Force Support Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron, Communications Squadron and the Wing Public Affairs Office. The 910th operates the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) only large area, fixed-wing aerial spray capability. This specialty mission provided exclusively Youngstown based Air Force Reserve provides critical and unique wartime support and has also been used to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Gustav. This 910th also assisted in oil dispersant in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Authorities requested DoD support because the scope of the disaster is beyond the capacity of available civilian mosquito control resources.