Air Force

May 24, 2013

D-M houses Oklahoma aircraft during tornado

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Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

An E-3 Sentry sits on a ramp here May 21. The aircraft was diverted to D-M from Tinker AFB, Okla. because a tornado destroying a town about three miles south of Tinker.

Six U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry and two U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury aircraft arrived here from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. during the weekend of May 17 due to severe weather in Oklahoma.

The inclement weather that caused the aircraft to divert included a tornado that touched down, destroying Moore, Okla., a small town located about three miles south of Tinker AFB.

The E-6Bs and one E-3 arrived May 17 while the other five E-3s arrived May 20th with less than eight hours notice.

The 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron deputy officer made the decision for the aircraft to divert to D-M due to inclement weather, said Airman 1st Class Barbie Kramer, 355th Operations Support Squadron airfield operations coordinator. D-M was chosen over other bases due to its location and 24/7 operations with a ramp space to support the heavy aircraft.

“Tinker didn’t have anywhere closer that they could go to quickly,” said Kramer. “With a tornado warning or any other evacuation, they can come to us, and they know we have the space or will coordinate for the space to be made.”

Flying crew for all the aircraft along with eight members from the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and security forces members from the 72nd Security Forces Squadron arrived with the E-3 aircraft.

The aircraft departed D-M May 21 back to Tinker AFB.

The E-3 is an airborne warning and control systems aircraft, better known as AWACS. Tinker AFB and D-M security forces worked together to maintain security around the clock of the high valued assets.

Tinker AFB Airman are helping the community to find survivors and to helping restore the local community.




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