Combat Edge

"Duck" "no, my friend, that was a goose!".

While that punch line has been used numerous times in flying "there I was" stories, bird strikes and the hazards posed by birds/wildlife are real and not to be taken lightly. I can hear it now, you're saying to yourself, "another article on BASH (Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard) programs? What can you possibly tell me about "Bird Conditions" that I haven't already heard?" I have to admit, when I set out to write this article, I certainly wasn't expecting anything new, interesting, and certainly not exciting. What I found is that BASH is a whole lot more involved than the issuance of bird conditions, and it is actually pretty interesting when you get to talk to the folks responsible for putting together an effective program at your base. For example, did you know we have the capability of spotting birds on radar on some bombing ranges, and en route? Some bases actually have full-time personnel from the Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services Division to assist in creating, monitoring, and implementing BASH. It's about mapping animal habitats along with base activity to spot problem areas. Oh yeah, and BASH isn't all about birds, it addresses any wildlife which may impact flying operations. It's about selective hunting seasons, pest control, cutting the grass the right height, bird dogs, falconry, outsmarting coyotes, and tons more.


The following are excerpts from two of the many interviews I conducted about BASH and how to build an effective program. The first is an interview with MSgt Duncan Munro, Superintendent of Flight Safety and ACC's BASH Program Manager.

TCE: How did you get involved in BASH?

Munro: I got involved in BASH while stationed at NAS Keflavik, Iceland. The country is a bird haven since it's a major migratory destination for hundreds of species, and because it's so sparsely populated. Birds love it. With the Air Force, Navy, and civilian carriers flying a variety of aircraft on one airfield and birds in "Alfred Hitchcock" proportions we had to have an active BASH plan. Shortly after my arrival there, my job quickly became one of facilitating and developing a workable BASH program that all agencies could operate with. When I came to ACC Safety, it was a natural transition for me to pick up the additional duty as BASH Program Manager for the command. …

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