Air Force continues to evacuate airmen and aircraft as the Catagory 5
Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida. More than 100 personnel and 50
F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFB, S.C., will
relocate to Barksdale AFB, La.; 11 KC-135 Stratotankers from the 6th
Air Mobility Wing and 927th Air Refueling Wing will evacuate from
MacDill AFB, Fla.; 13 F-15 Eagles will relocate from Jacksonville
International Airport in Florida; and 21 A-10 Warthogs and two A-29
Super Tucanos from the 23rd Wing at Moody AFB, Ga., will be evacuated.
On Wednesday, Muniz ANGB, Puerto Rico, Homestead AFB, Fla., and Patrick
AFB, Fla., all relocated aircraft out of the storm’s path. An eight-man
team from the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Travis AFB, Calif., has
deployed to St. Thomas to “evaluate the airfield and determine what
will be required to prepare it to receive aircraft supporting relief
missions,” according to an Air Force statement.And, JB Charleston, S.C.,
will serve as an intermediate staging base for the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Above is a Sept. 7 satellite photo from NOAA's
National Hurricane Center showing Irma as it approaches Cuba. Just over
25 years ago, Hurricane Andrew, also a Category 5 storm, struck South
Florida, obliterating the region and leveling Homestead. Learn more about how Hurricane Andrew nearly wiped out Homestead in Air Force Magazine’s August issue.
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