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U.S. Air Force Chief Scientist, Dr. Mark T. Maybury, sits behind the controls of a WC-130J aircraft during his visit to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron Nov. 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Heather Newcomb)
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Hunting hurricanes 101

Posted 12/7/2011   Updated 12/7/2011 Email story   Print story


by J. Justin Pearce
403rd Wing Public Affairs

12/7/2011 - Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. -- The Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force paid a visit to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron's "Hurricane Hunters" at the end of November.

Dr. Mark T. Maybury, the first prior Air Force Officer to become the chief scientist of the Air Force, visited with squadron members, eager to learn more about the weather reconnaissance mission and the role it plays in narrowing weather forecasts.

Dr. Maybury said he had a great visit with the Hurricane Hunters on the last day of Hurricane Season, which officially ended Nov. 30.

"The 53rd is really doing a very important national mission," said Dr. Maybury. "It would really be great to see their capabilities continue to advance given the current state of the art in weather sensing technology."

In the spirit of knowledge sharing, Dr. Maybury gave some insight as to what the Air Force's key focus areas are concerning science and technology: advancements in air and space autonomy, human-machine interface technology, and energy capture, storage and distribution.

"Imagine a pilot being able to look down through the bottom of the aircraft, or someone having super vision where they can see things much farther away, and to see things beyond the visible spectrum," said Dr. Maybury in reference to human-machine interface technology.

Dr. Maybury concluded his visit with a flight aboard a WC-130 and a call to action.

"We need to make sure that we maintain a strong technical expertise base in the weather officers and loadmasters for the Hurricane Hunters given they are the only ones doing this important mission (within the DoD)," he said.

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