PHOTOS: Tinker Practices ‘Climate Flush,’ Conducts E-3 Elephant Stroll

Greater than a dozen E-3 Sentry airborne warning and management, or AWACS, plane lined up on the runways at Tinker Air Power Base, Okla., on March 21. The crews of the distinctive E-3, with rotating radar domes perched above the fuselage, have been practising one in every of their extra perilous missions: the climate flush.

“The climate flush offers aircrews, assist squadrons, and maintainers an opportunity to apply producing the E-3G Sentry to evacuate the realm rapidly within the occasion of a climate emergency,” a Tinker Air Power Base launch mentioned of the train.

Earlier than extreme climate hits, Air Power bases throughout the U.S. usually fly their planes of hurt’s approach. Often, evacuations happen due to a hurricane or an identical massive, predictable climate occasion. Some bases, nevertheless, are topic to unpredictable climate and have plane that can’t simply get replaced—Tinker Air Power Base is within the coronary heart of twister alley in central Oklahoma and homes many of the Air Power’s AWACS fleet.

“Climate flush workouts are considerably distinctive in that we’re normally specializing in maximizing plane technology and updating airfield dispersal plans in a really fast timeline,” an official from the 552nd Air Management Wing informed Air & House Forces Journal.

Tinker is the one base within the continental U.S. with E-3s, and the vast majority of the Air Power’s fleet of the plane—27 of 31—are assigned there. E-3 plane are wanted for battle administration and command management missions, so they may not all take part within the climate flush train, the official mentioned. Nonetheless, 552nd Air Management Wing mentioned they tried to make the train as sensible as attainable.

“For this train, no jet was off limits,” the wing official mentioned. “There have been different mission necessities that constrained with the ability to stroll all of our obtainable plane so for this train, 14 have been quickly generated.”

The 552nd Air Management Wing is properly conscious of its distinctive location and plane, the official famous, and has climate forecasters that give the bottom round 48 hours discover on whether or not or not they need to fly their plane out of hurt’s approach or defend them of their hangers.

Within the climate flush mission, 5 plane departed Tinker, although the train simulated scrambling aircrews and floor personnel for the extra planes.

The E-3s are an getting old a part of the Air Power’s command and management fleet, and the Air Power plans to exchange the plane with the E-7 Wedgetail as quickly as attainable. E-3s within the fleet have a mean age of over 40 years and a mission succesful fee of round 60 p.c.

With the plane’s retirement looming, the 552nd Air Management Wing took the train as alternative to stage an elephant stroll—plane taxiing in an in depth formation in a present of airpower—on one of many base’s runways.

“For this one, and to protect a bit of historical past, the plane weren’t allowed to take off instantly after they have been prepared, we held them so we may seize the elephant stroll image, then we flew a few of them off station and dispersed others,” the 552nd Air Management Wing official mentioned.