Air Force jets seek refuge at Barksdale Air Force Base

More than 50 F-16 Vipers evacuated Thursday from their base in South Carolina

F-16 Vipers for the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina seek refuge from Hurricane Dorian at Barksdale Air Force Base.
BAFB to host planes from South Carolina

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KSLA) — More than 50 F-16 Vipers evacuated Thursday from their base in South Carolina to Barksdale Air Force Base as Hurricane Dorian moves its way along the East Coast.

“Our truly amazing airmen worked diligently for the past few days to finish prepping the jets in time for today’s evacuation,” said Col. Derek J. O’Malley, commander of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base.

“We must assure that our families are safe and the base is prepared for Hurricane Dorian as it approaches the area.”

A Barksdale spokesman described how the bases work together in such situations.

✈️✈️And they’re off (into the wild blue yonder)!! ✈️✈️ Wishing them blue skies and a tailwind, see you soon. Team, we started launching our jets ahead of #Dorian this morning. Throughout the day, we will post updates on our story as well as here so you can see an inside look at all of #TeamShaw’s HURCON efforts. #TeamworkMakestheDreamwork #StaySafe

Posted by Shaw Air Force Base on Wednesday, September 4, 2019

“We’re usually in constant conversation with bases when hurricanes might happen to see what kind of support they might need," Maj. Andrew Caulk, public affairs chief, said.

"It’s an ongoing sort of negotiation between our base and any of the bases we need to support to determine how much support they need, what other operations are ongoing and how we can make sure we keep all of the assets safe.

“It’s excellent for us to be able to do and we try and host them as best we can and show them a little bit of Louisiana hospitality down here," Caulk continued.

Such evacuations to Barksdale is something that happens fairly often, he said, adding that the installation is uniquely fitted for the task.

Welcome to Barksdale Shaw Air Force Base! Aircraft and Airmen from Shaw AFB, South Carolina, arrived at Barksdale, for...

Posted by Barksdale Air Force Base on Wednesday, September 4, 2019

“What’s interesting about Barksdale is that we have a very long runway because we support the bombers,” Caulk said. "That means we have a lot of space that we can host aircraft on the ramps.

"That’s something that’s a little bit unique about us and allows us to support all of these bases when weather events do occur.”

Good Evening Team, As you saw throughout the day, our team couldn’t get much more incredible. We thank each and every one of you for helping us send the jets to Barksdale Air Force Base, making the base as secure and safe as possible, and taking personal responsibility to prepare your homes and ready your families. With everyone in place, and the potential to see damaging winds in the area within the next 12 hours, we have officially declared HURCON 1. We ask each of you to take the next 24 hours just as seriously as you did with your preparations. We have also been in constant communication with our weather team. While they do not expect we will be severely impacted, our Airmen are our most precious gift – which is why we put them in the safest buildings on base and have emergency responders on standby to respond on a moment’s notice if needed. While the majority of our facilities will be closed tomorrow, if at any time you do need emergency assistance, please contact: 803 – 895 – 3669 Hunt Housing After Hours Emergencies: 803 – 499 – 7407 Base Infrastructure/Power/Water Emergencies: 803 – 895 – 9655 Lastly, please check out our inclement weather page for information on Sumter County closures and specific information on facilities/services. Once we begin assessing damage tomorrow, we will start updating the chart accordingly. Stay safe, we will update you tomorrow.

Posted by Shaw Air Force Base on Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Barksdale welcomes Airmen and aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base evacuating Hurricane Dorian. United States Air Force #ShawHUREVAC #19DODHurricane

Posted by Barksdale Air Force Base on Wednesday, September 4, 2019

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