Bagram Gets Bird-Detection Radar

Air Force officials are installing a radar system at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, to help mitigate the threat that birds pose there to the flight safety of US military aircraft. While this type of bird-detection technology has been in use stateside, this marks its first employment in the US Central Command area of responsibility, said Air Forces Central officials. The Merlin radar system, as it is known, allows personnel to see birds farther out than can be observed with high-powered binoculars. With it, pilots can be warned earlier if they are flying into dangerous territory. “Bottom line, it’s another tool we can use to mitigate bird strikes,” said Lt. Col. Gary Rudman, AFCENT deputy director of safety. Bagram, located directly in a path migratory birds fly each spring, has the highest incidence of bird-strikes of all USAF bases in the region. (Shaw report by Capt Lisa Spilinek)