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.
“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.
“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.”