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Moody preps for Hurricane season

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May 29, 2008

Moody Air Force Base - With Lowndes County bordering Florida and just hours from each coast, a hurricane can pose a very real threat.

If severe weather strikes, the airmen at Moody Air Force Base want to assure they are ready at a moments notice to either evacuate the base or provide search and rescue to anyone stranded by the storm.

NOAA predicts nine hurricanes will form in the Atlantic this summer and fall. Any one of them could bring damaging winds and rain to Lowndes County.

For most, that simply means finding shelter. But at Moody Air Force base, that's no easy job.

"We don't want these aircrafts to get damaged so we have to have a plan to get them out of harms way or secure them if they are not able to fly for some reason or if its in maintenance," says Major David McCoy.

They have to move dozens of aircrafts out of harms way.

Each aircraft cost millions of dollars and plays a vital role in national security.  If a hurricane were to hit and damage a plane, it would be detrimental to both the base and Air Force.

"The aircrafts are extremely valuable to the Air Force as far as missions they provide to the Air Force and support of the country in its national objectives," McCoy adds.

So in sweeps Hurricane Dave. It's Moody's simulated storm that's headed straight towards the base. This drill gives the airmen 72 hours to pack up the base and fly these planes to safety.

It's a drill that will move and protect all valuable assets on base in case of emergency so they'll be ready when they are needed most.

"Being that the 23rd Wing is home to the two active duty rescue groups," McCoy says.  "It's possible the rescue wings will be called out to do rescue operations for other parts of the country."

Come rain, shine or severe weather.

This is the second week of drills on base. Last week the airmen performed search and rescue drills in case they were called out to assist in a hurricane or it's aftermath.

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