Barksdale provides shelter for evacuated Airmen, aircraft

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

A T-1 Jayhawk from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., lands on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Sept. 10, 2017. Barksdale also provided a safe haven for F-16 Fighting Falcons from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. and C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint-Base Charleston, S.C. for protection against potential damage from Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick).

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., lands on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. The aircraft evacuated to Barksdale as a proactive measure to prevent possible damage from Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

F-16 Fighting Falcons from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., are parked on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 11, 2017. More than 50 F-16 evacuated to Barksdale in order to avoid hurricane Irma's path. (U.S. Photo by Staff. Sgt. Jason McCasland)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

C-17 Globemaster III's from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., are parked on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 11, 2017. Hundreds of aircrew and more than 100 aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and Pensacola, relocated to avoid potential damage from high winds associated with Hurricane Irma along the East Coast. (U.S. Photo by Staff. Sgt. Jason McCasland)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

Dave Atzhorn, 451st Flying Training Squadron training pilot, arrives at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., from Pensacola, Fl., Sept. 10, 2017. Aircraft evacuated their bases and flew to Barksdale for a hurricane evacuation during Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Photo by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

A F-16 Fighting Falcon lands on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. More than 50 F-16 evacuated from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., to Barksdale to avoid Hurricane Irma's path. (U.S. photo by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

F-16 Fighting Falcons from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., are parked on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. More than 50 F-16's evacuated to Barksdale to avoid Hurricane Irma's Path. (U.S. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

A KC-135 Stratotanker is parked at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. Hundreds of aircrew and more than 100 aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and Pennsacola, relocated to avoid potential damage from high winds associated with Hurricane Irma along the East Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft

A C-17 Globemaster III begins to land at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. Hundreds of aircrew and more than 100 aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and Pennsacola relocated to avoid potential damage from high winds associated with Hurricane Irma along the East Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft
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Two C-17 Globemaster IIIs taxi on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. Hundreds of aircrew and more than 100 aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and Pennsacola, relocated to avoid potential damage from high winds associated with Hurricane Irma along the East Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft
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A KC-135 Stratotanker begins to land at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. Hundreds of aircrew and more than 100 aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and Pennsacola, relocated to avoid potential damage from high winds associated with Hurricane Irma along the East Coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)

Barksdale Provides Shelter for Evacuated Airmen, Aircraft
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An F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., rests on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Sept. 8, 2017. More than 70 aircrafts arrived at Barksdale Air Force Base to seek shelter and avoid possible damage from Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick).

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

The hurricane season is in full swing yet again. For the third consecutive year, Team Barksdale provided refuge to Airmen and aircraft seeking shelter from Hurricane Irma.

More than 100 personnel accompanied over 70 aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., the C-17 Globemaster III from Joint-Base Charleston, S.C., and the T-1 Jayhawk from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., arrived here between Sept. 8-10, 2017 during a hurricane evacuation.

“It’s important to have a plan in place because a plan is something that sets you up for success,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Hargis, 2nd Bomb Wing director of Wing plans and programs. “When the weather comes or we have maintenance issues or a jet breaks, having a plan and reacting accordingly is what we do as Airmen.”

Planning helps prevent personnel being injured or killed and aircraft becoming damaged. Barksdale’s large runway makes it an ideal place for large scale movements such as a hurricane evacuation.

“Fifty-two aircraft came out here from Shaw,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Reid, 55th Aircraft Maintenance unit armament systems specialist. “You have to think how many billions of dollars that could’ve been lost if we wouldn’t have evacuated and it would’ve hit Shaw.”

With the projected but unpredictable path of Hurricane Irma, a last minute need for a safe haven was required. Team Barksdale was able to successfully adapt to those needs to ensure support for relocating Air Force assets.

“Steps needed to support our wingmen worked very smoothly and gave us the opportunity to support our East Coast Airmen,” Hargis said.

Team Barksdale simultaneously fulfilled its own mission requirements while ensuring the protection of the evacuated Airmen and aircraft. Protecting these assets is vital to the Air Force mission so Airmen are always ready, he said.

“Every Airman, every piece of equipment, every U.S. Air Force resource is important to the defense of our nation,” Hargis said.