WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Aircraft evacuated from Hurricane Ian arrived at McConnell Air Force Base on Thursday, Sept. 29.
According to a news release from McConnell, nine KC-46A Pegasus aircraft arrived today from the 916th Air Refueling Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.
McConnell says, “Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday near Cayo Costa, Fla., as a category 4 storm. It then crossed the Florida Peninsula in a northeastern direction and has reemerged today in the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm.”
According to the National Hurricane Center, Ian has already strengthened back into a hurricane as of 4 p.m.
“Projected paths from the center have the storm making landfall Friday along the Carolina coast,” says McConnell.
The nine KC-46A Pegasus aircraft were evacuated to McConnell by the 916th ARW out of an abundance of caution and to preserve their mission capability.
McConnell says they are familiar with the 916th ARW, as both the 916th ARW and McConnell’s 22nd Air Refueling Wing operate the KC-46.
Airmen from both bases combined to complete a KC-46 Employment Capability Exercise at Moron Air Base, Spain, in March and April of 2022 to evaluate how the KC-46 will provide Rapid Global Mobility capabilities for future joint operations.