According to base officials, Hurricane Katrina took a big bite out of Keesler, USAF’s major technical training facility near Biloxi, Miss. Water surged over the base, sometimes at depths of up to six feet, nearly destroying many base houses and crippling industrial areas. There is no power and base officials expected to keep base residents in central shelters at least through Thursday. The base’s runway was damaged, but C-17s and C-130s have been able to land to deliver supplies.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.