Weather Warriors Fly Into Hurricane Ike

Staff Sgt. Shannon Smith prepares to launch a dropsonde from a WC-130J aircraft. Flown by the 53rd Weather Reocnnaissance Squadron, known as the Hurricane Hunters, the WC-130J has two removable pallets onboard for the weather mission. Weather Reconnaissance Loadmasters, such as Sergeant Smith, launch dropsondes throughout the average 10-12 hour flight, gathering data the Reservists provide to the National Hurricane Center. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. James B. Pritchett)

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