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116th Air Control Wing evacuates JSTARS aircraft ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Airmen adjust a maintenance stand on an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Sept. 2, 2019, ahead of Hurricane Dorian. The Joint STARS aircraft belonging to the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing, relocated to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in preparation for Hurricane Dorian’s potential arrival on the eastern coast of Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Dustin Cole)

Airmen adjust a maintenance stand on an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Sept. 2, 2019, ahead of Hurricane Dorian. The Joint STARS aircraft belonging to the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing, relocated to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in preparation for Hurricane Dorian’s potential arrival on the eastern coast of Georgia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Dustin Cole)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) --

The 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, began relocating the fleet of E-8C Joint STARS aircraft stationed on the installation, Sept. 2, to prevent potential damage from Hurricane Dorian.

The Joint STARS have relocated temporarily to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, where they will wait while Hurricane Dorian travels up the eastern coast of the United States.

“Joint STARS is a unique weapon system in our nation’s Air Force,” said Col. Ed Goebel, 461st ACW commander. “Protecting our Airmen and aircraft is a duty we must uphold in order to preserve combat capabilities for combatant commanders.”

“Protecting the assets we have been entrusted with is a top priority for us,” said Col. Ato Crumbly, 116th ACW commander. “By moving our aircraft to Tinker Air Force Base to wait out the storm, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure our aircraft are safe should Hurricane Dorian bring significant weather to our area.”

All aircraft that could not be housed inside hangars at Robins AFB were flown by crews of operators and maintainers to Tinker AFB. The rest of the JSTARS remain in middle Georgia and are standing by to help with recovery efforts if needed.

“We have the best team of people ready to help as soon as we receive the call,” Crumbly said. “From our route clearing packages to medics, security forces and services, our people are highly trained and have the necessary resources to help the citizens of Georgia and any state we are called upon to assist. This is what we train for.”