Threats to military forces and infrastructure come from overt enemy actions, terrorist acts, and training accident, but mother nature poses a threat too. Packing the energy of dozens of nuclear weapons, a hurricane destroys almost everything in its path–whether military or civilian. And like any other threat, a clear understanding of the “enemy” is necessary.
On this episode, Lt Col (select) Mark Withee and Capt Garrett Black, both of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and members of the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron based at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, join us to describe the nuances of flying into destructive storms to glean as much information about the storm’s path and propensity to intensify. Far from haphazardly flying through a storm, the Hurricane Hunters’ specially-modified WC-130 Hercules is perfectly suited for the mission, which is also one the people flying it come to revel.
Guest co-host Becky Shaw returns to the show to describe NOAA‘s hurricane flying and answer listener questions such as the impacts of weather on flying close air support, the firing of actual missiles in training, and the etymology of the word “pickle” in releasing air-to-ground stores.