Not Just Winging It

Through a newly adopted strategy of persistent depredation, habitat denial techniques, and use of local falconers, the airmen in the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing’s safety office are making significant progress in keeping birds in check around Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, to reduce the chances of potentially serious collisions with aircraft operating from there. Bagram has historically been the site of the most bird strikes of any air hub in Southwest Asia, and 2009 was starting off no differently, said Lt. Col. Charles Wallace, who leads Bagram’s bird aircraft strike hazard (BASH) prevention efforts. In fact, there were six strikes during a nine-day period in late February. But the new measures, in particular the presence of the falcons, have begun to have a dramatic effect. So successful have been the BASH team’s efforts that their methods are being studied at various bases throughout the region. (Bagram report by SSgt. Jason Lake)