American service members stationed at an airbase in Kuwait have taken up an unusual mission.
The American personnel assigned to Ali Al Salem Air Base in the country have been hunting scorpions during nighttime operations.
The missions are so popular with the troops assigned to the base that there’s a waitlist to go on the scorpion hunts, according to Stars and Stripes.
The scorpions that live in the base’s vicinity can be dangerous.
The Arabian fat-tailed scorpion is one of the arachnids that lives in the desert surrounding the facility.
This animal’s potent venom and aggressive temperament can render it a threat to humans and military service dogs– a problem that the troops and civilian contractors assigned to Ali Al Salem Air Base haven’t overlooked.
The base is currently missing anti-venom for the scorpion stings — an oversight caused by an incorrect belief that the numbers of the scorpions had declined in recent years, according to Stars and Stripes.
Army Spc. Joseph Neitz is hoping the military will provide the post with the anti-venom necessary after scorpion hunters captured more than 300 of the arachnids over the past six months. During that time, there have been around 100 nighttime hunts.
“It’s something different. It makes the deployment a little better. And it’s something memorable,” Neitz said of the hunts.
Some hunts in the summer yielded as many as eight to 10 scorpions a day.
“Seeing people catch one for the first time, either they’re super-excited, or they’re scared halfway to death,” Air Force Staff Sgt. Brendan Guerra said.
“Not many people can say, ‘I went to catch some of the deadliest scorpions in the world in my free time while on deployment.’”
Nighttime journeys into the desert have attracted hundreds seeking to bag a scorpion or a camel spider during their tour to Kuwait. https://t.co/nsRbLUWT1F
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) December 26, 2022
Camel spiders are also among the creatures being hunted by Americans stationed at Ali Al Salem.
Much of the area’s local wildlife has taken to hiding under wrecked aircraft and old bunkers dating back to Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait — a conflict that spurred the Gulf War.
Neitz and Air Force Staff Sgt. Adan Guzman have taken the captured invertebrates and encased them in resin to hand out to participants of the nighttime hunts.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.