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U.S. Air Force News

  • Hurricane Hunters wrap up 2021 season; brace for winter ops

    Nov. 30 marked the end of the Atlantic and Pacific hurricane seasons and for the second year in a row, the Atlantic tropical basin produced a full list of named storms. Eight of those storms made landfall in the U.S. with two making landfall as hurricanes, one of those being a major hurricane in

  • Hurricane Hunters testing new SATCOM capabilities

    The aerial reconnaissance weather officer sits adjacent, quality checking the figures from the dropsonde, as it plummets to the ocean’s surface, and from the stepped frequency microwave radiometer attached to the wing of the aircraft.

  • Hurricane Hunters wrap up Hurricane Sam missions

    The Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Hurricane Hunters, from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, began flying the storm after moving to their forward operating location in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to collect weather data and provide the National Hurricane Center more

  • Hurricane Hunters wrap up Elsa recon ahead of landfall

    The Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Hurricane Hunters wrapped up their aerial reconnaissance efforts for Tropical Storm Elsa, July 7, after the storm made landfall on the northwest coast of Florida.

  • Hurricane Hunters upgrade ARWO software

    The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters” aerial reconnaissance weather officer and loadmaster/dropsonde operator stations are being upgraded with hardware and software to increase their weather collecting capabilities.

  • 403rd Wing weathers record storm season

    A historical hurricane season means a packed schedule for the Air Force Reserve’s 403rd Wing and their 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters.” Throw in a pandemic and four evacuations and this season was one of the busiest for the Reserve Airmen.

  • Hurricane Hunters track Sally

    The Hurricane Hunters fly through tropical systems to gather weather data that they provide to the National Hurricane Center for their use in updating the storm forecast warnings.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly first Pacific hurricane

    The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircrew flew into the first hurricane of the Pacific Ocean season to collect weather data to assist the Central Pacific Hurricane Center with their forecasts.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly first mission of 2020 Atlantic season

    The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, the only Department of Defense organization that flies weather reconnaissance, is expected to fly into Invest 90L throughout the weekend to provide weather data by satellite communication to the National Hurricane Center in Miami to improve their computer

  • Hurricane Hunters fly winter storm

    A WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft departed Keesler Air Force Base midday to fly the western Atlantic flight track, off the Northeast coast.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly atmospheric rivers

    The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to perform “AR recon” from January through March. Scientists, led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, working in partnership with the 53rd WRS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service

  • NOAA, NHC visit 53rd WRS Hurricane Hunters

    On Nov. 13 and 14, the Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Hurricane Hunters hosted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Hunters and representatives from the NHC, National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination

  • Hurricane Hunters finish flying Dorian

    Operations began with three WC-130J aircrafts and one C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 403rd Wing departing Keesler Air Force Base, Aug. 25, for Curaçao to provide weather reconnaissance support of what was then Tropical Storm Dorian.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly Hurricane Dorian

    Due to a lack of radar and weather balloons availability over the Atlantic Ocean, the 53rd WRS flies into the storms, gathers the data and provides this data to the NHC to assist with their forecasts and storm warnings by transmitting the information gathered via satellite communication

  • Reserve Airmen hunt hurricanes

    This specialized unit of Reserve Airmen is made up of a five-person crew consisting of a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, aerial reconnaissance weather officer and loadmaster who is also the dropsonde operator.

  • Building a weather-ready nation

    The purpose of the tour is to help create a weather-ready nation by raising awareness for the upcoming hurricane season occurring June 1 – Nov. 30, with an emphasis this year on raising awareness about inland flooding.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly Atmospheric Rivers

    In November 2018, California experienced one of its most destructive fires with more than 150,000 acres burned, 18,000 homes destroyed, over 80 deaths, and with the winter rainfall season ahead, heavy rain can bring flooding and mudslides.

  • Hurricane Hunters inside eye as Michael makes landfall

    The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron started flying into Hurricane Michael Oct. 7 and over the next four days observed it intensify from a possible tropical depression to a Category 4 storm, which made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 10.

  • US Naval Academy tests waters with Hurricane Hunters

    When the subject of summer internships comes up, thoughts of fetching coffee and doing paperwork or answering phone calls come to mind.What does not come to mind is working 10,000 feet in the air in an Air Force Reserve WC-130J Hercules flying through a hurricane for the sake of research.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly Florence, conduct search and rescue

    Members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron assisted the U.S. Coast Guard with a search and rescue mission Sept. 11, locating a white 41-foot Bali sailing catamaran after completing their mission for Hurricane Florence.The vessel was making a trans-Atlantic voyage

  • Yesterday’s Air Force: Hurricane Hunters

    What started as a dare more than 70 years ago turned into the way we predict hurricanes today. Find out how the Air Force got started in a critical mission that saves lives by flying through hurricanes.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly Hurricanes Florence, Olivia

    The Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is flying missions into Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean and Hurricane Olivia over the Pacific Ocean this week. The 53rd WRS is the only Defense Department unit that flies reconnaissance missions into severe tropical weather

  • Hurricane Hunters fly Hurricane Lane as storm targets Hawaiian Islands

    The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are continuing to monitor Hurricane Lane which is projected to hit the main Hawaiian Islands the afternoon of Aug. 23. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squdron, based out of Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, began flying into Hurricane Lane out of the

  • Hurricane Hunters fly Tropical Storms Beryl, Chris

    The Air Force Reserve’s Hurricane Hunters spent the weekend flying weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris off the North Carolina coastline and Tropical Storm Beryl in the Caribbean Sea to gather data for the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

  • Prepare now for hurricane season

    Hurricane season begins June 1 and now is the time to prepare. To promote this message, an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircrew with their WC-130J Super Hercules and a team of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane experts visited five Gulf Coast cities as part of this

  • Women of Weather: Hurricane Hunters make a difference

    Those goals became reality for Maj. Ashley Lundry, an aerial reconnaissance weather officer, and Maj. Devon Meister, a pilot, both members of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, referred to as the Hurricane Hunters, a unit in the 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi.

  • Their continuing mission: Hurricane Hunters gather data for winter storms

    For members of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known as the Hurricane Hunters, the hurricane tasking is only one part of their overall data-gathering mission. Hurricane Hunters track winter storms off the East and West Coast of the United States and in the Gulf of Mexico. While the

  • Hurricane Hunters close intense 2017 season

    As massive spirals of lightning, wind and rain, hurricanes are some of the most dangerous and destructive forces in nature. And the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly directly into the center of them.

  • Airmen document Hurricane Irma with Hurricane Hunters

    It’s not often that Air Force reservists arrive at Unit Training Assembly “weekend drill,” and in short order find themselves flying into the eye of a hurricane, but that’s exactly what happened to Staff Sgts. Kyle Brasier and Corban Lundborg with the 4th Combat Camera Squadron, Joint Base

  • Hurricane Hunters track Harvey

    Harvey began as a scattered collection of clouds drifting across the Atlantic Ocean and in just over a week has developed into a category two hurricane.

  • Hurricane Hunters take part in Navy operational demonstration

    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

  • Hurricane Hunters prepare the Caribbean

    More than 20,000 people attended the Caribbean Hurricane Awareness Tour hosted April 24-29, 2017 by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters” and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly data-gathering missions through Hurricane Matthew

    The Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron has been conducting around-the-clock operations flying into Hurricane Matthew to collect critical weather data for the National Hurricane Center in Miami to improve the center’s computer models that forecast movement and intensity.

  • Hurricane Hunters, NOAA stress hurricane preparedness

    An Air Force Reserve “Hurricane Hunter” aircrew with their WC-130J Super Hercules joined National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane experts May 16-20 to promote preparedness at five Gulf Coast cities.

  • Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

    The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

  • Hurricane Hunters deploy to Hawaii to fly Guillermo

    The Air Force Reserve's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, assigned to the 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and began flying data-gathering missions into Hurricane Guillermo Aug. 2.

  • When severe winter weather threatens U.S. the Hurricane Hunters are there

    The Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron here, recently deployed a WC-130J Hercules out over the Atlantic Ocean to gather weather data for winter storms "Lola” and “Juno", which are projected to ravage the East Coast throughout the next few days with nearly three feet of

  • 'Hurricane Hunters' busy with missions on both coasts

    It's been a busy two weeks for the Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew their last of 15 missions into Hurricane Ana in the Pacific Monday while gathering weather data for the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. On the other side of the globe, the

  • Hurricane Hunters head west into 'Odile'

    The Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters flew into Hurricane Odile Sunday to collect critical weather data for the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Odile formed in the Pacific Ocean and made landfall this morning in Baja, California. After reaching Category 4 strength on Sunday, Odile weakened

  • Hurricane Hunters fly into Hurricane Iselle for life-saving data

    Airmen with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known as the Hurricane Hunters, deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 5 to collect weather data in Hurricane Iselle as it approaches the Hawaiian Islands.

  • Hurricane Hunters fly into Tropical Storm Bertha

    Aircrew members from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Hurricane Hunters have been flying data-gathering missions into Tropical Storm Bertha out of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands since July 31.

  • Hurricane Hunters partner with NOAA to educate public

    The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew to the Tallahassee Regional Airport in Florida, May 22 to team up with the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the fourth day of a week-long Hurricane Awareness Tour.

  • NOAA, Hurricane Hunters team up for awareness tour

    An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircrew with their WC-130J Hercules and a team of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane forecasters visited three Mexican and two Caribbean cities May 4-11 as part of the annual Caribbean Hurricane Awareness Tour.

  • Hurricane Hunters transition from tropical gales to arctic blasts

    Maintaining constant awareness of what storm systems are doing is a concerted effort between the National Weather Service and the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron here, also known as the Hurricane Hunters. Each year, to combat the persistent threat of winter storms, the 53rd WRS fly out over the

  • 'Hurricane Hunters' end one of calmest seasons on record

    Nov. 30 marked the end of hurricane season, and the 403rd Wing's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron closed up shop at their forward operating location at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.Known as the "Roll Up," 403rd Wing reservists spent Dec. 9 through

  • Anatomy of a hurricane hunter: When storms get personal

    During Maj. Sean Cross' first flight into what became Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, he and his WC-130J Hercules crew joked and asked themselves why they were even tasked for the mission. "There was absolutely nothing to it at that point," he said.By his second flight, the jokes stopped and were

  • 'Hurricane Hunters' kept relentless watch on 2012 storms

    As the nation rebounds from 19 named storms and 11 major hurricanes in 2012, a small but hardy military organization keeps relentless watch to track and prepare for such disasters.Located at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, dubbed the "Hurricane Hunters" of

  • Hurricane Hunters track Isaac as SOUTHCOM, NORTHCOM prepare

    With Tropical Storm Isaac bearing down on the Dominican Republic and Haiti and threatening to strengthen over the eastern Caribbean, the "Hurricane Hunters" from the Air Force Reserve's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron are in the air, relaying critical data to National Weather Service

  • Hurricane Hunters show Alex strengthen into Category 2 storm before landfall

    Hours before an aircrew from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron left for an after-midnight flight into Hurricane Alex, the storm had just been upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane. By the time the crew returned from more than seven hours inside the storm, the data they gathered showed

  • FEMA administrator visits Hurricane Hunters

    Craig Fugate, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, visited the Air Force Reserve Command's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron April 29 to address hurricane preparedness as the June 1 storm season approaches."The Air Force does a lot for FEMA," Mr. Fugate said in an address to the

  • Hurricane Hunters fly first winter storm

    Members of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron here have been tasked by National Weather Service officials to fly their first winter storm of the season on the East Coast starting Dec. 25.The Air Force Reserve's 53rd WRS "Hurricane Hunters," assigned to the 403rd Wing here, normally collect

  • Hurricane Hunters prep for upcoming storm season

    Members of the Air Force Reserve Command's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron deployed to their detachment here recently to fly training missions over the Caribbean in preparation for the 2009 hurricane season. Unit Airmen are part of the 403rd Wing located at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and

  • Hurricane Hunters take on winter storms

    Air Force reservists here deployed with two WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft to Anchorage, Alaska, Jan. 17 for a month-long mission in support of the 2009 Winter Storm Reconnaissance Program. The Air Force Reserve Command's 403rd Wing team includes aircrews, operations, maintenance, aerial porters

  • Hurricane Hunters support weather study from Guam

    Two Air Force Reserve WC-130J Hercules and a Naval Research Lab P-3 Orion deployed here recently to conduct meteorological research on tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific from August through September. During the project, labeled Tropical Cyclone Structure-2008, aircrews from the 53rd Weather

  • Hurricane Hunters tracking Gustav on Katrina anniversary

    Hurricane Hunters from the Air Force Reserve's 403rd Wing here spent the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina flying into yet another tempest, Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall just west of Grand island, La., Sept 1. Three years ago, the Hurricane Hunters evacuated aircraft and personnel from

  • Hurricane Hunters fly into Flossie

    As Hurricane Flossie made its way across the Pacific, a few Airmen were doing the unthinkable -- making trips directly into the eye of the Category 4 storm. Airmen of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron's Hurricane Hunters out of Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., flew missions into the storm from

  • Hurricane Hunters track Pacific winter storms

    While most people flee when a pending storm is coming, Keesler AFB Airmen go right into the heart of storms to provide detailed information about storms to warn people of hazardous weather.Airmen and WC-130J Hercules aircraft, also known as Hurricane Hunters, left here Feb. 12 for Anchorage, Alaska,

  • Hurricane Hunters ready to take on 2006 storm season

    It was a quiet opening day of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron spent the day training and getting ready for what forecasters say will be another active season. Though the season officially began June 1 and ends Nov. 30, last year these

  • Edwards' testers 'propel' Hurricane Hunters through Katrina

    It has been labeled the greatest disaster in this nation's history by government officials. Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall Aug. 29, has devastated the Gulf Coast and left thousands homeless.As Air Force bases nationwide work to provide immediate aid through airlift, medical support,

  • WC-130J team tracks hurricanes with improved radar system

    Experts here battled 155-mph winds and penetrated two hurricanes 15 times recently to put the WC-130J Hercules’ improved weather-radar system to the test.Together with Air Force Reserve Command's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., joint test team experts flew

  • Hurricane Hunters monitor Lili

    The "Hurricane Hunters" of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, a Reserve unit here have been busy, flying their WC-130 Hercules aircraft into Hurricane Lili, gathering data about the storm for the National Hurricane Center.The hurricane, with winds in excess of 145 miles per hour, was expected