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Barksdale B-52s relocate to escape Hurricane Laura

The Air Force base expects Hurricane Laura to move over the installation early Thursday morning
A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base passes overhead as another of the base's...
A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base passes overhead as another of the base's bombers taxis after landing Wednesday at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Minot, the military says, is the only other B-52 base and as such has considerable infrastructure and support to ensure the Air Force Global Strike Command mission is not impacted by Hurricane Laura.(Airman Jan Valle | Source: Airman 1st Class Jan K. Valle/5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs/U.S. Air Force)
Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:21 PM CDT
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BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KSLA) — B-52s from Barksdale Air Force Base are being relocated to get them out of harm’s way as Hurricane Laura barrels toward the military installation.

The jets took off sometime Wednesday and still were in flight, a public affairs spokesman said.

Because the aircraft still were in transit, he added, he could not divulge the number of bombers and personnel involved nor their destination.

The Air Force’s other B-52 base is at Minot, N.D., which would be a 2- to 3-hour flight north for the bombers.

The military has since shared images of at least some of the B-52s from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale arriving later Wednesday at Minot.

It was just four days ago that a half dozen B-52H Stratofortresses assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base arrived at RAF Fairford in England for a long planned mission during which the bombers will conduct theater and flight training across Europe and Africa.

A B-52H Stratofortress takes off Aug. 26 from the flight line at Barksdale Air Force Base. The...
A B-52H Stratofortress takes off Aug. 26 from the flight line at Barksdale Air Force Base. The B-52s left the military installation to avoid the possibility of being damaged by Hurricane Laura.(Source: Senior Airman Lillian Miller/2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs/U.S. Air Force)

Hurricane Laura will start to move over Barksdale Air Force Base and the Shreveport-Bossier City area early Thursday morning, according to the 2nd Operations Support Squadron weather flight.

The base is forecasting winds of at least 50 knots (57-58 mph) and at least 2-6 inches of rain starting as soon as late Wednesday.

The strongest winds will be expected Thursday afternoon with a high probability of flash flooding, the base reports.

Following are highlights of other storm-related information that Barksdale has shared with personnel and retirees:

  • The Main/West Gate will be open 24/7.
  • The Bodcau Gate will continue normal operations as of now.
  • The North Gate will be open until 6 p.m. Wednesday then will be closed until Saturday.
  • The commissary and exchange will be closed Thursday and Friday.
  • Red River Dining will close at 9 a.m. Thursday and reopen at 6 a.m. Friday.
  • There will be no youth programs — including the child development centers, school age and open recreation at the Youth Center — on Thursday and Friday. Normal operations are expected to resume Monday.
  • The emergency Military Personnel Flight phone numbers during this time are (318) 456-3608 and (318) 456-6968.
  • Medical Group will be closed Thursday and Friday
  • For urgent healthcare needs or nurse advice, visit MHSNurseAdviceLine.com or call TRICARE toll-free at (800) TRICARE (874-2273) and select option 1.
  • Emergency prescription procedures have been expanded in Louisiana due to severe weather until Aug. 31.
  • To get an emergency refill, take your prescription bottle to any TRICARE retail network pharmacy.

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