09/13/05 — Jets sent to Dayton to miss storm

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Jets sent to Dayton to miss storm

By Turner Walston
Published in News on September 13, 2005 1:46 PM

About 50 F-15E Strike Eagles and three KC-135 Stratotankers were expected to arrive at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, from Seymour Johnson AFB by this morning. The aircraft were evacuated as a precaution to avoid potential damage from Tropical storm Ophelia, expected to make landfall midweek.

About 46 jets were to be stored in indoor hangars. The rest made the trip, expected to take about 90 minutes. They will remain at Wright-Patterson until any danger has passed.

"These are taxpayer assets, and we are entrusted with them," said Captain Herritage of 4th Fighter Wing. "We're taking precautions now to make sure they don't experience damage from the storm."

The 916th Air Refueling Wing evacuated three KC-135 stratotankers. One will be stored in a hangar, and four are currently deployed in Turkey.

Capt. Rick Goodman was one of the pilots flying to Wright-Patterson. He said the precaution was not unusual.

"It's done whenever there's a need to get the nation's assets out of the way of a destructive force," he said. The pilots and weapons systems officers will remain with the jets, waiting the storm out.

"We'll stay with the aircraft until it's safe to bring them back to Seymour Johnson," Goodman said.