Sunday, July 12, 2020

U.S. Air Force evacuates aircraft ahead of Hurricane Dorian

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The U.S. Air Force began evacuation of its aircraft and helicopters in preparation for ‘catastrophic’ Hurricane Dorian.

According to the current information, the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa began its storm prep on Thursday, removing KC-135s from the 6th Air Mobility Wing to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas due to the projected winds.

“The safety of our service members, families, and aircraft are paramount,” Col. Stephen Snelson, commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing, said in a release.

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Officials at Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, the home of the 45th Space Wing, have also been closely monitoring Dorian’s progress, alerting families there to prepare.

A-10 Thunderbolt II and  HC-130J Combat King II aircraft were deployed from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, to Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. Little Rock AFB provided support ahead of Hurricane Dorian to keep Airmen and Department of Defense assets safe of harm’s way until they can return to their home station.

Photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin

Also, Florida Air National Guard F-15 Eagle fighter jets were evacuated to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Aug. 30, 2019.

The storm’s track was initially forecast to the make direct landfall on Florida’s east coast early next week, but the most recent forecast has shifted the storm’s track with the most intense part of the storm now expected to remain off the coast of eastern Florida.

While Hurricane Dorian is not expected to make direct landfall in eastern Florida, the storm is forecast to impact cities along the Florida coast. Cities along Florida’s coast that are expected to be impacted by the storm include Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville.

Current models indicate that Hurricane Dorian will exit the Florida coast late in the day on Wednesday. The storm is also expected to impact communities along the coast of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Photo by R.J. Oriez

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Executive Editor

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