Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C., Shaw AFB, S.C., and Moody AFB, Ga., joined the list of Air Force bases that are relocating aircraft to avoid damage from Hurricane Matthew. Seymour-Johnson, which is miles from the coast, had been in a wait and see mode, but planned to move 41 F-15E Strike Eagles from the 4th Fighter Wing and six KC-135 Stratotankers from the 916th Air? Refueling Wing to Barksdale AFB, La., on Thursday, according to a release. Airman at the base also prepared the Dare County Bomb Range and Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area for the oncoming storm. F-16s from Shaw were also relocated to Barksdale, according to a 2nd Bomb Wing release. Moody’s aircraft that couldn’t be stored in hangars, including A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, were moved to Tyndall AFB, Fla., base spokesman TSgt. Zachary Wolf said in an email. As of Thursday afternoon, a hurricane warning was in effect for portions of the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina coastlines, where the storm is expected to track across between Thursday and Sunday. A number of bases along the southeastern US coast, including Patrick AFB, Fla., JB Charleston, S.C., JB Langley-Eustis, Va., began relocating aircraft earlier in the week.
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.