Officials at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., moved 30 aircraft—28 F-15Es and two KC-135Rs—to Eglin AFB, Fla., Thursday morning in an effort to avoid damage from Hurricane Earl, Seymour Johnson spokeswoman SrA. Makenzie Lang told the Daily Report. SSgt. Travis Edwards, spokesman for Air Combat Command headquarters at Langley AFB, Va., said no other USAF East Coast bases were planning to move aircraft as of Thursday afternoon, but that could change if the storm changed directions. “We don’t anticipate anything happening significantly enough to damage our aircraft,” Edwards told the Daily Report. The National Hurricane Center predicted that Earl would pass near North Carolina’s Outer Banks “as a large and powerful hurricane” Thursday evening. Its powerful winds were also expected to reach the coast of Virginia Thursday evening, according to the center.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.