Florida military aircraft headed to Tenn. base
The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel
Air traffic around McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base will pick up starting midmorning Saturday as military aircraft from Florida evacuate ahead of the storm system identified as Isaac, officials said.Capt. Joey Keith said refueler and cargo planes from MacDill Air Force Base in South Florida should begin arriving about 9:30 a.m., Saturday.
Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee adjutant general, said Tennessee is always prepared to fully support neighboring states in an emergency.
"We hope that the aircraft movement is only precautionary, but we are ready and willing to assist however needed," he said.
This isn't the first time McGhee Tyson has been called upon to provide hurricane evacuation support. In August 2011, both the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard facilities at McGhee Tyson were used to support aircraft and helicopters from all over the East Coast because of Hurricane Irene.
Keith said that while relocated at McGhee Tyson, the aircraft will continue a full operational schedule with no overall impact on their mission readiness.
While an exact number of aircraft expected wasn't available, Keith said only a handful of the refueler and cargo planes are expected.
"As part of their normal operations that they plan on doing to continue to train for war-readiness to be proficient for their jobs, they'll just relocate their operations here," Keith said. "We're ready to facilitate anybody's arrival and help anybody who needs it."
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