Hurricane threat brings C-17 Globemaster from Charleston to Barksdale for safety

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Airmen exit a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., July 31, 2020. The aircraft evacuated to avoid any possible damage from Tropical Storm Isaias. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Wrightsman)

BARKSDALE AFB, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The loud noise heard thundering across the Bossier and Shreveport skies Friday was not a loaded B-52, but instead  C-17 Globemaster from Joint Base in Charleston, S.C., dropping in for a short stay at Barksdale Air Force Base.

On Friday, Joint Base Charleston went under Hurricane Condition Four (HURCON 4) due to weather conditions projected for Hurricane Isaias. HURON 4 is declared when the forecast calls for the arrival of 50-knot (58 mph) sustained winds or greater within 72 hours.

It is unknown if any other aircraft from bases in harm’s way have taken refuge at Barksdale, but Saturday, Naval Air Station Jacksonville announced the 31 P-8A Poseidon aircraft and its five P3C Orion aircraft had been authorized to evacuate to pre-determined safety locations ahead of the storm.

A statement to Action News Jax revealed the aircraft would evacuate to either NAS Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana or Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It is unknown where the airplanes eventually landed, however.

Barksdale, with its vast fields and runways has provided shelter for military airplanes during hurricanes for many years.

When Hurricane Irma hit Florida and the east coast in September 2017, Barksdale provided shelter to more than 100 personnel who accompanies more than 70 aircraft,  including the F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., the C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, and the T-1 Jayhawk from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.

A year later, when Hurricane Florence hit the south and east coasts, Barksdale opened its runways and space to more than 200 personnel and 60 aircraft that included KC-135 Stratotankers and F-15E Strike Eagles from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, along with Army aircraft from Fort Rucker, Ala.

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