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SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 334th Fighter Squadron “waves” its air brake after returning from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, after being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The repositioning was a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage to resources as a result of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittain Crolley)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 335th Fighter Squadron returns from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, after being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. According to the National Weather Service, the Neuse River, located just outside the base perimeter, crested at more than nine feet above flooding stage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittain Crolley)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 333rd Fighter Squadron is towed into its parking spot, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. More than 60 aircraft assigned to the base were repositioned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, ahead of Hurricane Florence as a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittain Crolley)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

A KC-135R Stratotanker assigned to the 916th Air Refueling Wing returns after being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The repositioning was a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage to resources as a result of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittain Crolley)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

Two F-15E Strike Eagles taxi after returning from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, after being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The repositioning was a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage to resources as a result of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

An F-15E Strike Eagle lands on the flightline after returning from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, after being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. According to the National Weather Service, the Neuse River, located just outside the base perimeter, crested at more than nine feet above flooding stage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

Several F-15E Strike Eagles taxi on their return from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, after being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The repositioning was a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage to resources as a result of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

Aircrew and ground crew perform a post-flight check on an F-15E Strike Eagle after returning from being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. More than 60 aircraft assigned to the base were repositioned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, ahead of Hurricane Florence as a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence

An F-15E Strike Eagle sits under a canopy after returning from being repositioned ahead of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The repositioning was a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage to resources as a result of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence
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A KC-135R Stratotanker returns from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Sept. 18, 2018, to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. More than 60 aircraft returned from Barksdale in effort to recover from Hurricane Florence and restore base operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence
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A K-loader approaches a KC-135R Stratotanker to load cargo, Sept. 18, 2018, at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Aircraft, equipment and Airmen from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina were repositioned to Barksdale as a precautionary measure to avoid potential damage from severe weather associated with Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence
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Airmen from the 916th Air Refueling Wing are greeted Sept. 18, 2018 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. More than 60 aircraft assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina were repositioned to Barksdale in order to avoid potential damages caused by Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence
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Pilots and crew members from the 916th Air Refueling Wing wait to land at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana Sept. 18, 2018, after flying from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Six F-15E Strike Eagles and five KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft remained at Barksdale AFB after more than 50 aircraft returned Sept. 17. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence
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U.S. Air Force Lt. Cols. Jason Biethman (left) and Matt Young (right), pilots assigned to the 916th Air Refueling Wing, prepare to fly to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana Sept. 18, 2018, from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The flight was conducted in order to retrieve remaining aircraft and crew members that were repositioned due to Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Derry)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence
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Members of the 4th Maintenance Group perform a foreign object debris walk, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Airmen looked for debris on the flightline after Hurricane Florence to ensure all taxiways were safe for the F-15E Strike Eagles to return. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shawna L. Keyes)

SJ recovery efforts begin following Hurricane Florence
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Members of the 4th Maintenance Group walk the flightline looking for debris following Hurricane Florence, Sept. 17, 2018, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Debris on the flightline is a potential hazard for aircraft and other precision equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shawna L. Keyes)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

More than 50 F-15E Strike Eagles from the 4th Fighter Wing and six KC-135R Stratotankers from the 916th Air Refueling Wing were repositioned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Sept. 17, as a precautionary measure due to Hurricane Florence.

 

The 916th ARW also provided support to the 4thFW by repositioning more than 200 personnel and equipment from the 4th FW to Barksdale AFB.

 

Hurricane Florence reached Seymour Johnson AFB on Sept. 14, causing flooding in various areas of the base to include parts of the runway.

 

Col. Donn Yates, 4thFW commander, issued an “all clear” for the base, beginning the base’s reconstitution phase after the effects of Hurricane Florence, to bring the base back to its full capabilities.

 

The 4thFW’s assets returned from Barksdale AFB, Sept. 18, and Team Seymour has begun recovery efforts to reestablish normal base operations.

 

“Every decision we make is in the best interest for all of our personnel, both on and off base,” said Yates. “This is the part where we begin to gradually get back to what we need to do.”

 

The 4th Civil Engineering Squadron prepared and responded to Hurricane Florence effectively, said Maj. Joseph Balskus, 4thCES operation flight commander.

 

“Members of the 4th Civil Engineering Squadron prepared over 8,000 sand bags, preemptively removed control cards, aircraft barriers and power sources, pre-staged response equipment and generators, supported a 50-person Coast Guard Search and Rescue team and expertly executed countless other tasks,” said Balskus. “Then, a small team rode out the storm and stood postured to support our installation. During the height of wind and rain, they restored downed power distribution, deployed additional rescue generators, removed trees from buildings, and kept Command & Control operations online. Eventually the entire base was recovered, the perimeter was secured, and all power was restored. Engineers played a vital role in the reconstitution of the 4th Fighter Wing mission in less than 3 days after Hurricane Florence descended upon Goldsboro.”

 

Though the recovery of Team Seymour may not be instant, Yates said he is grateful for the effort to restore the base.

 

“It’s going to be a gradual process,” said Yates. “I’m thankful for everyone’s teamwork and understanding in this.”