U.S. Department of Defense
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Air Force Base Finds New Way to Fog

Nov. 30, 2020
17th Civil Engineering Squadron goes with fog machines for disinfecting classrooms at Goodfellow AFB.

The 17th Civil Engineer Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, is employing a different way of efficiently disinfecting the classrooms on base — a fog machine. Fog machines have often obscured troops landing on a beachfront; lately, they are also functioning as medical machines, disinfecting classrooms and child centers for families of armed forces. Civil Engineer (CE) members Omar Martinez and Walter Miller use fog machines (see figure) to disinfect the Child Development Center classrooms in the 17th Civil Engineer Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. The fog machines deploy a mist of disinfectant to all surfaces within a building in use to render it safe from COVID-19 virus. The disinfectant mist is safe to breathe and be around while it is being distributed and it requires only about 20 minutes in which it acts upon the virus.

“The time the chemical is left alone on the surface is called wet time,” explains Martinez. “In the time that it bonds to the germs, it also dries, and, since it is a ‘no rinse needed’ chemical, you are then good to go,” he adds. “The chemical that we use is known to be 99.999% effective in killing different viruses,” Martinez said. “This is why we are using this method, as well. It is more likely to kill everything we want it to.” The approach is particularly effective for treating large areas. The CE members do the cleaning when requested, usually when there is a sign among the children, such as a runny nose. Earlier, a group of fire and intelligence students volunteered and deep-cleaned all the classrooms and toys to help protect the children around the base. 

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