HomeNewsArticle Display

Hurricane Hunters take part in Navy operational demonstration

The Air Force Reserve's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters” depart Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, May 31, 2017, to take part in the U.S. Navy's Gulf of Mexico Oceanography Unmanned Systems Operational Demonstration. The squadron collected weather data for the U.S. Navy May 30 to June 2, 2017, as part of the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

The Air Force Reserve's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters” depart Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., May 31, 2017, to take part in the Navy's Gulf of Mexico Oceanography Unmanned Systems Operational Demonstration. The squadron collected weather data for the Navy May 30 to June 2, 2017, as part of the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- While their typical mission is gathering weather data for the National Hurricane Center, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters” spent May 30 to June 1, 2017, providing weather information for the Navy’s first Gulf of Mexico oceanography unmanned systems operational demonstration.

The Navy partnered with the Hurricane Hunters, and other agencies and academia such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Southern Mississippi, to demonstrate unmanned capabilities and explore joint opportunities in support of national defense.

“Partnering with the Air Force for the demonstration was really the perfect marriage because we both work continually to understand the constantly changing atmosphere,” said Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command commander and Oceanographer of the Navy, who flew with the Hurricane Hunters May 31 to learn more about their mission. “It is the mission of Task Force Ocean to ensure that the U.S. Navy maintains a competitive advantage in our ability to exploit the ocean environment…and our close partnership with the Air Force ensures we do just that.”

Gallaudet, who led the demonstration, directs and oversees more than 2,500 military and civilian personnel who collect, process and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to make better decisions faster than the adversary.

“The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron was thrilled to be asked to participate in this naval demonstration,” said Lt. Col. Kaitlyn Woods, the 53rd WRS chief meteorologist. “This joint training opportunity has reinforced that the data we provide ensures the Navy has a better picture of how environmental factors can impact the Navy fleet and their operations.”

In preparation for the event, the Hurricane Hunters dropped two profiling floats and three surface drifter buoys April 12, providing the devices time to drift into the operational demonstration area. These unmanned systems measured ocean conductivity, temperature and depth. During the demonstration, the Hurricane Hunters flew a 1.5 hour mission each day of the demonstration, releasing up to six dropsondes at precoordinated points along the operational demonstration track. The dropsondes, along with the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer on the wing of the aircraft, provided temperature, pressure, humidity and atmospheric wind data during the event. This weather information was relayed to the Naval Oceanographic Office, who input the data into ocean and atmospheric models for operational use.

All operations and observations collected by various agencies during the event were input into a common operational picture presented to community leaders at the Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center-Battlefield Airmen Center June 1. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant also announced the creation of the Governor’s Ocean Task Force during a ceremonial executive order signing.

“What we will do is not only look at the military application, but the commercial applications to help build the economy and add more jobs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Bryant.

For the Hurricane Hunters, participating in this first-of-a-kind event was an opportunity to exhibit their mission.

“The demonstration showcased our joint capability,” said Maj. Brad Roundtree, a 53rd WRS pilot. “We not only have the ability to collect data for National Hurricane Center forecasts, but can also enhance the capability of other units by providing weather information for operational use.”

(Kaley Turfitt, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Public Affairs, contributed to this article.)


Facebook Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Gen. Goldfein, during his keynote address at the 2019 Chief of the Air Staff's Air and Space Power Conference said the follo…
.@WrightPattAFB opened a #cyberdefense facility for #USAF Life Cycle Management Center's Fighters & Bombers Directo… https://t.co/QibdORLX2q
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our asymmetric advantage is represented in this room. It is all of us working together on a common cause. Great to see…
.@AFResearchLab supports @AFThunderbirds w/cutting-edge aerospace #technology. From G-suits, custom earpieces, fly-… https://t.co/HJ07fLg2aP
Operating from rough dirt strips, the #C130 Hercules is capable of transporting & airdropping troops & equipment in… https://t.co/c4vsC76vRX
Tune into @TheWilsonCenter July 18, 2019 at 8:05 a.m. (EDT) to hear #USAirForce Lt. Gen. Bussiere, @USNorthernCmd A… https://t.co/M2LTH8wpx5
.@DMAFB #Airmen traveled more than 1700 miles to save two critically injured Mexican fishermen onboard the Mazatun… https://t.co/tcTnNPC8Zj
RT @KadenaAirBase: #ICYMI: #TeamKadena will be activating a new special operations squadron for the operation and maintenance of the #CV22
#OTDIH, The B-2 Spirit's inaugural test flight happened from Palmdale to @EdwardsAFB, #California. The B-2 Spirit i… https://t.co/bS7ODGlxsP
.@HAFB #Airmen conduct #F35 missions while temporary assigned to @366FW. This is the largest off-station F-35A Li… https://t.co/KlbXq7jBLg
RT @MacDill_AFB: CSM John W. Troxell has our #TotalForce team here at MacDill feeling empowered! 😎💪 Thanks for visiting our service members…
.@NellisAFB plans to roll out shorts for maintenance technicians to wear on the flight line in the scorching Nevada… https://t.co/fcavaNG112
⚡️ “RAF Lakenheath breaks ground on future F-35 infrastructure” by @usairforce https://t.co/wiOjMMONZD
.@48FighterWing hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new #F35 infrastructure at Royal Air Force Lakenheath,… https://t.co/nOmLeR1egG
🗣Calling all #Milwaukeeans! #USAF Captain Curtis Hinca calls #Milwaukee home & is an Air Force Prosecutor… https://t.co/0LqvQdCUqm
RT @ValerieInsinna: Here’s a little bonus footage of @GenDaveGoldfein taxiing before his a ride in @FinnishAirForce F/A-18s. Read the story…
.@NellisAFB, Staff Sgt. Kenneth Delongchamp saved lives during the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.… https://t.co/GJygss6FBZ
RT @PACAF: Airmen from around the @usairforce tested themselves in the Small Unit Ranger Tactics course at the @25ID #LightningAcademy. #Ai
The latest roundup of the best #AirForce photos is out. See them here: https://t.co/0w3MNpiixe
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Gained a new appreciation for the strength and capability of our #Finnish partners, and have confidence we can prevail…