More than 150 U.S. Air Force aircraft, including F-22 Raptor poachers, have evacuated inland in preparation for Hurricane Dorian to protect the billions of dollars of taxpayers invested in the Air Force fleet.
“In preparation for Hurricane Dorian, Colonel David López, commander of the first hunting wing, has ordered the F-22 Raptor and T-38 Talon fighters from the Langley Air Force Base to evacuate to the Base of the Rickenbacker National Air Guard in Ohio,” according to press reports from the United States Air Force.
Langley-Eustis Joint Base Aircraft, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; of the Moody Air Force Base and Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, began evacuating land bases on September 2.
The wing leaders who own those assets – the F-22 Raptor, F-16CM Fighting Falcon, T-38 Talon, E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System and A-10 Thunderbolt II – have specific actions they take at certain times Before a storm For this hurricane season, the U.S. Air Force has taken steps to better prepare for weather threats after the damage caused by the great natural disasters of 2018.
Hurricane Michael, which destroyed most of the Force Base Air from Tyndall, Florida, in October 2018, and flooding at the Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, have alerted senior Air Force leaders and Congress to the growing danger of damage to assets related to the weather.
As a result, ACC developed an action team preparing for severe weather conditions to conduct an analytical and deep dive into weather events throughout the country.
This team, led by Lieutenant General Chris Weggeman, deputy commander of the ACC, evaluated the actions and success of the evacuation to determine best practices to share with the bases throughout the command.
“We have issued a planning directive for all ACC units, which basically sets in motion the things they need to plan for and the posture actions they need to do in advance,” he said.
“Instead of the structure of the Hurricane Condition (HURCON) that we have used for years, we are proposing a structure of HUR-RY, which is a great word, but in reality it is ‘ready for hurricane'”.
Prepared is the motto of the ACC, as the units are forced to face the danger posed by the weather, while focusing on the threat of enemy combatants equal to or close to them.
The recovery of combat readiness, degraded by decades of intensive deployment schedules and budget uncertainty, has been an area of great interest over the past year.
“The increase in Congress funds has produced better preparation, and it has been demonstrated as we have prepared our bases for Dorian,” said General Mike Holmes, ACC commander.
Holmes attributed the ability to fly quickly to safety on short notice to a preparation mentality of the entire company reinforced by a constant awareness of command priorities.
“It’s not just about planes and equipment,” said Holmes. “These aircraft are expensive assets owned by taxpayers, and we have a responsibility to take care of them so that we can continue to be prepared for combat.
But they are not our most important asset, but our aviators.
ACC wing commanders know that the key to balancing the concern of airplanes and aviators is to evacuate airplanes in a time frame that allows crews that support the aircraft and their families to evacuate the base if necessary.
“If we put all the planes safe but leave the airmen and their families to face the storm, that is a failure,” he continued.