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MacDill AFB KC-135s reposition in wake of Hurricane Irma

KC-135 landing

A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., taxis to a parking spot after landing at McConnell AFB, Kan., Sept. 7, 2017. Aircraft were evacuated from MacDill AFB as a precaution to protect them from Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan)

KC-135 landing

A KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., waves from the cockpit after landing at McConnell AFB, Kan., Sept. 7, 2017. Aircraft were evacuated from MacDill AFB as a precaution to protect them from Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan)

KC-135

A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., taxis to a parking space Sept. 7, 2017, at McConnell AFB, Kan. McConnell AFB is housing the KC-135s during Hurricane Irma. The aircraft are expected to return to MacDill AFB once weather conditions improve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AFNS) -- McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, welcomed 11 KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to MacDill AFB, Florida, Sept. 7-8, 2017, after they evacuated due to the threat posed by Hurricane Irma.

Irma, which is currently a Category 5 hurricane, threatens a large part of the U.S. East Coast. MacDill AFB is evacuating aircraft as a precaution to ensure no damage.

“The safety of our Airmen and aircraft is paramount,” said Col. April Vogel, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, MacDill AFB.

The relocation to McConnell AFB ensures aircraft and aircrews from MacDill AFB are out of harm’s way until they can safely return to their home station, protecting millions of taxpayer dollars.

"As the home of air refueling, we are always ready to assist, whether it's by delivering combat air refueling in the Middle East or providing a safe haven to our brothers and sisters in arms who are fleeing adverse weather,” said Col. Joshua Olson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “In the past two years, (McConnell AFB) has evacuated its own aircraft twice, and we're happy to be able to return the favor."

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