Mustang Rules the Air

Airmen at Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan, have been employing a trained Lugar falcon named Mustang for about the past year to scare away other birds near the base that pose a danger to aircraft operations. “It’s very effective,” said Capt. Derek Rhinesmith, of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing’s safety division. It is also the first-of-its-kind measure in Southwest Asia, according to base personnel. Mustang is released at daybreak and dusk hours to help clear the airspace around the base for the aircraft launching and returning from missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. He is used in combination with other measures like gas canisters and pyrotechnics to disperse the birds. (Manas report by TSgt. Jerome Baysmore)