Hurricane Matthew drives military aircraft to Barksdale
Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a safe haven for hundreds of airmen and a large contingent of aircraft seeking refuge from the East Coast.
F-15 Strike Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, C-17 Globemaster IIIs and KC-135 Stratotankers are being moved to the local base to escape the threat of high winds associated with Hurricane Matthew.
The aircrew and their fighter, cargo and air refueler aircraft are from the 4th and 20th Fighter, the 437th Airlift and the 916th Air Refueling wings.
They began arriving today from Shaw Air Force and Charleston Air Force bases in South Carolina and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina and are expected to share space on Barksdale's flight line through the weekend.
"Our team here at Barksdale Air Force Base is happy to provide refuge to our East Coast warriors," said Col. Ty Neuman, 2nd Bomb Wing commander. "We are once again well-equipped and ready to welcome airmen and aircraft as they out-fly an impending hurricane."
Airmen throughout 2nd Bomb Wing's maintenance, operations, support and logistics units are working to make the visit as seamless as possible and to demonstrate Barksdale's ability to be generous hosts for this large-scale movement, base officials said.
Barksdale isn't the only Air Force base being used as a safe haven. Among others is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
Such relocations of airmen and their aircraft are routine precautions for military installations to ensure the safety and security of high-value assets, military officials said.
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