Upgraded 910th Airlift Wing (USAF) C-130H’s with MASS
The C-130H aircraft belonging to the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing USAF are customized to carry the Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS). The system is capable of a wide-variety of applications. For mosquito control, the system uses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved and regulated material “Naled“, which is not used in amounts large enough to cause any concern for human health, according to the EPA. Naled (Dibrom) is an organophosphate insecticide. Its chemical name is dimethyl 1,2-dibromo-2,2-dichloroethylphosphate. Each C-130H equipped with a Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) can spray a whopping 190,000 acres per day, although that is a maximum number and normal operations will likely be a little less aggressive.
The MASS system disperses droplets small enough to land on a mosquito’s wing, using less than one ounce of Naled per acre. That’s less than one shot glass for an area the size of a football field.”
MASS is an entirely different system than the C-130’s Modular Aerial Fire Fighting System (MAFS). Instead of blasting out short strings of slurry or water on fires, MASS atomizes the chemical compounds it is spraying and can cover a massive amount of territory with its two modular chemical tanks held in the C-130’s cargo bay.
The 910th Air Mobility Wing has eight C-130H aircraft and one in reserve, and as of 2014 they have six MASS units. With frequent hurricane threats evolving to the U.S. mainland, the Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) equipped C-130 deployment and their spraying capabilities will likely be needed more than ever. States like Florida are already notorious for its mosquitoes, but once any hurricane to the tune of Irma dumps millions of gallons of water onto the state, rapid infestation is almost a certainty.
If anything else, this mission is yet another reminder of the ever increasing and downright bewildering list of missions the C-130 Hercules can be adapted to accomplish.
So if you happen to live in a hurricane threatened area, don’t be alarmed if you see and hear a big C-130 equipped with a Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) roaring by at very low level, while dumping something into the air behind it. It’s just the Air Force waging war on a microscopic level against an insect enemy.