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"Optimism (light) is the power that ultimately defeats fear (darkness)."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Whiskey-Charlie - Unsung Heroes!

For those of you familiar with the term, you know what I am about to talk about. Those that are not, current events have compelled me to jot down a few notes regarding and how we get up to date information on this beast!

Even though there are numerous information resources regarding the weather (satellites, ground radar like doppler, and sensors) the best way to get to know a hurricane is to fly into one. And that, my friends, is what Whiskey-Charlie does!

I left a few comments on and sent a personal note to an ex-USAF Navigator, Scott Dommin, after I scoured his website A Hurricane Hunter's Photo Album. I wanted to come to our blog and praise the Unsung Heroes of Whiskey-Charlie (WC-130 Crews). These fellow airmen do something every day that should scare the buh-jeezers out of all of us: FLY INTO HURRICANES!

It amazes me how a plain old "Herc" with a few mods can handle the torment unleashed while trying to gather data from which the National Weather Center can better call where the hurricane will strike. In fact, the Hurricane Hunters are not just flying in these here United States - they fly all over! You really should check out Scott's website - and follow the tour!

Definitely an "Eye" opener!!!

I was stationed at Keesler AFB for a short time in the early 80's. I remember in 1982 a bad storm was coming our way. SOP is that if a hurricane is to hit Keesler, the WC-130s go off-station for safety. Depending on the storm track, they could go just about anywhere. They then use their remote base/location from which to plan, schedule, prepare, and then execute their duties.

These folks fly for hours gathering data and providing us the security in knowing what's coming, how soon, and how intense. For all those "Herc" lovers out there, here is a photo I borrowed from Air Force Link:

[Thanks Kathy Paine, US Air Force Link]

Anyway, if you thought this "Old Bird" was tired and should be put out to pasture, she still has life in her! In fact, there is now a WC-130J out there! You can see the new cockpit at Air Force Link Photos.


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