by Airman 1st Class Curt Beach
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
10/2/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Hundreds
of aircrew and a fleet of more than 65 aircraft including F-15E Strike
Eagles and KC-135 Stratotankers arrived here, Oct. 1-2, to avoid
potential damage from Hurricane Joaquin along the East Coast.
The aircraft and their crews are from the 916th Air Refueling Wing and
4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, and
will be sharing space on the Barksdale flightline through the weekend.
"It is with great pleasure that we welcome our fellow combat warriors to
Barksdale Air Force Base and the Shreveport-Bossier Area," said Col.
Kristin Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander. "We are primed to ensure
Seymour Johnson Airmen have a comfortable stay as we welcome them with
Barksdale's southern hospitality."
Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 4 storm with winds up to 130 mph, battered
the Bahamas and was initially forecasted to move toward the U.S. and
through the Carolinas. Governors have declared states of emergency in at
least five states due to potential flash flooding regardless of the
"It's great that the Air Force has facilities where aircraft can escape
to in order to evade harm or weather elements," said William Flentge,
2nd Operations Support Squadron airfield manager. "It's nice to have a
facility that can accommodate fighter aircraft. We've had extensive
improvements to the airfield pavement over the past two years."
Barksdale's B-52 Stratofortresses will not be adversely affected by the
visiting aircraft, and flight operations will continue as scheduled,
Last year, Seymour Johnson's aircraft were relocated to Wright-Patterson
Air Force Base, Ohio, as a precautionary measure to protect them from
"I want to personally thank everyone in advance for their efforts to
keep the Airmen, families, the base and defense assets safe in the
coming days," said Col. Mark Slocum, 4th FW commander.