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AFCEC entomologist provides BASH management training

Don Teig, entomologist and subject matter expert at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, points to coyote tracks in the snow at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 9, 2017. Wildlife at the base are potential hazards to aircraft on the runways and are a constant nuisance for base pest management experts. Teig assists bases with training for integrated pest management as a method for reducing pests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan Lawson).

Don Teig, entomologist and subject matter expert at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, points to coyote tracks in the snow at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 9, 2017. Wildlife at the base are potential hazards to aircraft on the runways and are a constant nuisance for base pest management experts. Teig assists bases with training for integrated pest management as a method for reducing pests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan Lawson).

From left, Kevin Porteck, AFCEC natural resources subject matter expert, looks for birds while Dan Paulus, center, pest management foreman for Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and Don Teig, AFCEC entomologist and subject matter expert, discuss the usage of the propane air cannon for bird deterrence on the airfield at the base March 9, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Susan Lawson).

From left, Kevin Porteck, AFCEC natural resources subject matter expert, looks for birds while Dan Paulus, center, pest management foreman for Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and Don Teig, AFCEC entomologist and subject matter expert, discuss the usage of the propane air cannon for bird deterrence on the airfield at the base March 9, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Susan Lawson).

Crows, hawks, ducks and geese fly over the airfield at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, during a recent integrated pest management discussion between AFCEC pest management subject matter expert and the base pest management foreman, March 9, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan Lawson).

Crows, hawks, ducks and geese fly over the airfield at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, during a recent integrated pest management discussion between AFCEC pest management subject matter expert and the base pest management foreman, March 9, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan Lawson).

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE -- Wildlife management on Air Force airfields can often mean the difference between mission success or failure.

Don Teig, Air Force Civil Engineer Center entomologist and subject matter expert, recently headed west to provide bird aircraft strike hazard, or BASH, management training to attendees of the 82nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference’s National Military Fish and Wildlife Association Meeting.

During the event in Spokane, Washington, Teig presented Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, principles for wildlife management and highlighted the significant roles that civil engineer operations play in airfield BASH management using sound IPM principles such as removal of food, water and cover to make the airfield less attractive to wildlife.

“Some of the IPM techniques the pest management folks employ include surveillance for insects, weeds, rodents and wildlife on the airfield,” Teig said. “The operations flight is also able to manage wildlife on the airfield by using proper mowing heights, planting growth regulators and broadleaf weed control, implementing insect and rodent control, repairing fences, removing bird perches, and managing water supplies to eliminate food and habitat for several species.”

Pest management shops actively trap, harass and control wildlife as needed to prevent BASH on the flight line. Pest management personnel can also modify habitat or perform depredation of wildlife on the flight line to directly or indirectly control wildlife.

“I am impressed with Mr. Teig’s ecosystem approach to wildlife management on the airfield,” said Dan Paulus, pest management foreman at Fairchild.

During the first-ever pest management session of the meeting, National Military Fish and Wildlife Association members were in abundance to learn how to manage nuisance wildlife and invasive species.

“His work is instrumental in supporting civil engineer efforts to maintain safe airfields to support the flying mission,” said Leslie Pena, natural resources program manager at Sheppard AFB, Texas. “He helped us get rid of ragweed on the airfield at Sheppard and establish native grasses that are more drought tolerant.”

At the annual meeting, Teig met with various military installation entomologists, biologists and other natural resource experts on current methods used with BASH. Several AFCEC natural resources managers were present and collaborated with Teig to discuss better ways to manage wildlife and reduce invasive species on Air Force installations.

Organizations in attendance included AFCEC natural resources, Office Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisitions Technology Logistics Natural Resources, Armed Forces Pest Management Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services, U.S. Geological Survey and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

While in the area, Teig also visited Fairchild AFB, meeting with civil engineer pest management personnel performing BASH management on the airfield. Kevin Porteck, AFCEC atural resources subject matter expert, was also on hand to observe nuisance wildlife management for flight safety.

“The BASH program at Fairchild is a prime example of how flight safety, pest management and natural resources personnel can work together towards the common goal of keeping the airfield free of wildlife hazards,” Porteck said. "Fairchild is unique in that all three of these shops work together.”

For more information on BASH, contact the AFCEC reach back center at afcec.rbc@us.af.mil or 850-283-6995.