B-Roll of an Air Force reserve HC-130J Hercules attached to to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flys aerial weather missions for the Hurricane Hunters into hurricane Florence, Sep. 12, 2018 out of the Savanah Air National Guard base, Georgia. The U.S. Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, or Hurricane Hunters, is conducting a storm tasking mission into Hurricane Florence, currently a category 4 storm. The taskings provide weather data for the National Hurricane Center to assist in providing up-to-date and accurate information for storm forecasts.
The 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known by its nickname, Hurricane Hunters, is a flying unit of the United States Air Force, and “the only Department of Defense organization still flying into tropical storms and hurricanes.” Aligned under the 403d Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and based at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, with ten aircraft, it flies into tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Central Pacific Ocean for the specific purpose of directly measuring weather data in and around those storms. The 53d WRS currently operates the Lockheed WC-130J aircraft as its weather data collection platform.
Hurricane Florence is currently a strong tropical cyclone over the Atlantic Ocean, threatening the Southeastern United States and the U.S. Mid-Atlantic states. The sixth named storm, third hurricane and the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Florence originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on August 30. With the threat of a major impact in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States becoming evident by September 7, the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland and the mayor of Washington, D.C. declared a state of emergency.
Video by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben 4th Combat Camera Squadron