Return of the jets

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt Kara Crennan
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Shaw Air Force Base welcomed home more than 50 F-16 Vipers from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, Sept. 6, 2019, after evacuating for Hurricane Dorian.

While the base sustained little to no damage, the hurricane evacuation proved the 20th Fighter Wing can prepare and employ forces on a quick timeline, ensuring the Air Force maintains combat ready assets at all times.

Due to Hurricane Dorian’s uncertain forecast, leadership decided to evacuate the jets to protect the millions of dollars invested into the F-16s and to allow time for our most important assets, Airmen and their families, to get ready for the arrival of the storm. To prepare the base and more than 50 jets for Hurricane Dorian, Airmen banded together.

“Our Airmen are ready to respond at a moment’s notice due to their impeccable work ethic, training and dedication to their nation,” said Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander. “From our maintainers prepping the jets to the first responders and civil engineers working around the clock to ensure our safety, our Airmen know how to work together as a team to accomplish any task thrown their way.”

With the base back to normal operations, Team Shaw Airmen can focus on the primary mission of suppression of enemy air defenses and becoming the most lethal and ready leaders they can be.