HOMENewsArticle Display

403rd Wing evacuates aircraft, continues to fly Tropical Storm Ida

A WC-130J assigned to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., takes off as a C-130J assigned to the 815th Airlift Squadron taxis to takeoff Aug. 27, 2021. Both squadrons evacuated to Kelly Field in San Antonio Texas ahead of anticipated Hurricane Ida. (U.S. Air Force by Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman)

A WC-130J assigned to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., takes off as a C-130J assigned to the 815th Airlift Squadron taxis to takeoff Aug. 27, 2021. Both squadrons evacuated to Kelly Field in San Antonio Texas ahead of anticipated Hurricane Ida. (U.S. Air Force by Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The Air Force Reserve’s 403rd Wing started relocating aircraft today as Tropical Storm Ida makes its way towards the Gulf Coast.

The wing’s two flying units, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and 815th Airlift Squadron, relocated their WC-130 and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to Joint Base San-Antonio, Texas.

The 53rd WRS, better known as the Hurricane Hunters, flew their first mission into then Tropical Depression Nine Thursday over the western Caribbean Sea. The data they collected for National Hurricane Center forecasters showed the storm had strengthened to a tropical storm, the ninth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. The Hurricane Hunters will continue to fly storm taskings from JBSA.

“We are evacuating aircraft as a precautionary measure ahead of the storm to protect the aircraft from damage and to continue the life and property saving weather reconnaissance missions,” said Col. Stuart M. Rubio, 403rd Wing commander.

According to the NHC, there is an increased risk for hurricane-force winds, flooding rainfall and life-threatening storm surge Sunday and Monday along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“The safety of our Airmen and their families is our top priority,” said Rubio. “Please make sure you are prepared. Unit members who have questions, should speak with their supervisor or unit commander and monitor official base/wing websites and social media channels.”

For additional base information, visit: https://www.keesler.af.mil/About-Us/Hurricane-Season-2021/