Air Force units in the path of Tropical Storm Ernesto variously shifted their aircraft to other locations and closed operations. Charleston AFB, S.C., for instance, sent its C-17 fleet to Whiteman AFB, Mo., and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and closed its field but the Charleston C-17s kept flying their missions from their temporary homes. The Florida Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing at Jacksonville sent its F-15s to Eglin AFB, Fla. Air Force Reserve Command’s 482nd Fighter Wing at Homestead ARB, Fla., had eight F-16s at Hill AFB, Utah, and another six Vipers went to NAS JRB Fort Worth, Tex. F-15s from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., shared hangar space with F-16s at Shaw AFB, S.C.
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.