Locally-based jets moved as Florence blows toward coast

National

HAMPTON, Va. (AP/WAVY) – The U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the Air National Guard are moving jets from Virginia’s coast as Hurricane Florence careens toward the Eastern Seaboard.

Officials from Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton said the base’s F-22 Raptors and T-38 Talon training jets will begin flying out on Tuesday. They’ll be headed for Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in central Ohio.

The base in Virginia sits near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and not far from the Atlantic Ocean.

U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Hinds said in a statement that the base’s facilities can withstand hurricane force winds. But he said there’s no reason to risk any damage to the base’s fleet of advanced F-22 fighter jets.

Officials said around 100 personnel from from the 1st and 192nd Fighter Wings will be on location at the base to provide support for the aircraft.

UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters assigned to the 5th Battalion and 159th Aviation Regiment were secured in hangers at Felker Army Airfield.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy confirmed some 75 aircraft left Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana in Virginia Beach on Wednesday. The F/A-18 Super Hornets are assigned to Strike Fighter Squadrons 106 (VFA-106), the “Gladiators”, the “Fighting Blacklions” of VFA-103, and the “Pukin’ Dogs” from VFA-143.

Aircraft undergoing maintenance will remain in their hangars.

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