Tankers Avoid Storm Damage

Sixteen KC-135 tankers evacuated McConnell AFB, Kan., mere hours before tornadoes and hail struck the base, seeking shelter at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., on April 14. The 22nd Air Refueling Wing pulled its 10 tankers remaining on base into McConnell’s hangars to avoid any damage to the aircraft. Facilities on the Active Duty side of the base sustained only minor damage to electrical lines and fences, 22nd ARW spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Jessica Brown told the Daily Report. According to base officials, Kansas Air National Guard facilities were hit by one of more than 100 tornadoes spawned by the storm, which raked the Midwest last weekend. “Everyone did a fantastic job getting the jets launched out of McConnell,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Goggin, 349th Air Refueling Squadron commander, who led the tanker exodus. McConnell’s KC-135s returned on April 15. Grand Forks also harbored eight jets evacuated from Offut AFB, Neb. (McConnell report by A1C Jose Leon) (See also Grand Forks report by Tim Flack and McConnell report by SrA. Courtney Witt.)