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Wright-Patterson AFB to provide safe haven to aircraft from multiple service branches

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- The 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is receiving aircraft and their associated aircrews evacuating from several military installations threatened by approaching Hurricane Irma. 

Eight F-15 Eagles from the 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville Air National Guard Base, Florida, landed at Wright-Patterson AFB Sept. 7, 2017.

The F-15s are expected to be joined by eight Navy P-8A Poseidons and six Navy P-3C Orions from Patrol Squadron Thirty, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida; and three C-17 Globemaster IIIs from the 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

Col. Bradley McDonald, 88th ABW commander, spoke to the importance of providing hurricane relief efforts and assistance. He said support was already provided in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey by the 88th ABW and Reserve partners, the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB.

"Our hearts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Irma, and we are grateful that we have the opportunity to help and support those in need," McDonald said. “We have the resources and capabilities to be a safe haven for aircraft, both Air Force and our sister services, that need to move out of the potential path of Hurricane Irma.” 

Anticipated aircraft seeking safe haven include KC-130 Super Hercules from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, and F/A-18 Hornets from NAS Paxtuxent River, Maryland. 

Additionally, the colonel announced that 100 of the base’s medics and equipment are prepared to deploy as part of an emergency medical clinic capability and are awaiting orders.

Base officials here are closely watching the approaching storm’s track and intensity.

Air National Guard responds, too

Meanwhile, a team of six personnel from the 269th Combat Communications Squadron at Springfield-Beckly ANGB, Springfield, Ohio, left Sept. 7, with a truck and trailer full of equipment to provide communications assistance in Puerto Rico.

Capt. Craig Conner, the 269th Combat Communications Squadron detachment commander, is one of the personnel going to Puerto Rico.

“We started preparing at the beginning of this week. We can provide a quick response to enhance much-needed emergency communications,” he said. “It’s something we expect. We understand there is a great need, and we are looking forward to providing assistance.”