McConnell's advancement in air safety

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Willis
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. - Team McConnell has joined forces with the United States Fish & Wildlife Services to protect our Airmen and enhance our field of vision in the sky.

The Air Force spends $100 million annually, repairing damage to aircraft from bird strikes and other wildlife.

“Based on the time of year, we generally know that certain species will be traveling across our area,” said Michael Jungen, USFWS biologist and Sikes Act liaison who is working with the 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron.

However, access to the Motus receiver would provide the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard team would acquire information on birds flying within 30 kilometers, or approximately 273 football fields, of the receiver.

“Motus tracks migration in a manner that has never been done before by giving us exact dates birds are present in the flight pattern during migration,” said Jungen.

The receiver would be a one-time installation and will provide McConnell with year-round data on bird presence to supplement periodic bird surveys.

“We are required to survey our wildlife to look for threatened and endangered species every few years as well as ensure the health of our ecosystems,” said Jungen. “This ensures the preservation of the services that ecosystems provides to.”

The strategy is to utilize the system to save Air Force assets from damage, and to protect our ecosystems, while increasing the safety of McConnell’s Airmen.

“The information gathered from the receiver would cement McConnell as a leader in participating in projects,” said Jungen. “Simultaneously [it] benefits the mission and gives back through participation in worldwide conservation initiatives.”