Nine Air National Guard C-130 transports from four states (Delaware, New York, North Carolina, and Texas) began transporting special-needs patients from Corpus Christi, Tex., Sept. 10 to move them out of the projected path of Hurricane Ike that is expected to make landfall Saturday. “We’re evacuating [them] from Corpus Christi area hospitals and transporting them to Bryan College Station,” said Lt. Col. Greg Perry, deputy commander of the Fort Worth-based 136th Airlift Wing that is providing six of the aircraft. Six Guard medical crews from three states (Delaware, Nebraska, and Texas) are also supporting the mission. Ike is working its way up the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas. Tracking its every move are Air Force Reservists with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron from Keesler AFB, Ms., who are flying their WC-130J hurricane hunters directly into the storm to collect valuable data for the National Hurricane Center. (NGB report by TSgt. Cheryl Hackley and Keesler report by TSgt. James Pritchett)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.