When Hurricane Michael wrecked much of Tyndall's Air Force Base near Panama City, Fla., Last week, the storm was a significant military vulnerability. The base's F-22 stealth fighter jets may have been unmatched in the skies, but they were all but defenseless on the ground, as the powerful storm ripped apart hangars, flooded buildings and scattered debris.
Most of Tyndall's 55 F-22s were flown away to safety before the storm hit, but 17 of the aircraft had been grounded for maintenance and could not be airworthy in time. Those jets, worth about $ 5.8 billion – more than three times what it would cost to rebuild the entire base from scratch ̵
The Air Force played down the harm this week, saying that all the aircraft could be repaired. But the military has more than a dozen air bases on the coast in storm-prone southern states, where scientists predict that hurricanes will grow more intense and more frequent because of global warming. Michael's devastation of Tyndall raises questions about how well the bases are defended against the elements.
"This threat is not new to the military – they've been talking about Said Lt. Gene. Arlen D. Jameson, who is retired from the Air Force and was formerly the commander of the United States Strategic Command.
Several factors conspired to put the nation's F-22 fleet at risk into Hurricane Michael. The sophisticated jets are notoriously temperamental, and at any given time, only about the topics are ready to mission, according to a recent Air Force report. The storm appeared and developed swiftly, giving maintenance crews only a few days' warning to get as many airlines as they could. And the 17 F-22s were left behind in the hangars built to weather tropical storms, the buildings were no match for a category 4 monster whose winds were clocked at 130 miles an hour before they broke the base's wind gauge.
Hurricanes have been pummeling air bases since the days when the damage what is measured in blimps. Hurricane Hugo ripped through Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina in 1989; Hurricane Andrew Homestead Air Force Base near Miami in 1992; Hurricane Katrina has nearly $ 1 billion in damage at Keesler Air Force Base on the Mississippi coast.
With more than a dozen air force, navy and navy airfields dotting the coast from Texas to Virginia time, General Arlen said, but they may have run out of trouble due to President Trump's outspoken skepticism about climate change.
"Leaders have to walk on eggshells with the administration of what they say," the general said ,
Michael Watson. There are no translations available. Safe drones missiles and shoot down target drones. Most of these areas are over the ocean.
For decades, the military's response to impending storms has been to evacuate what it could and rebuild the rest. But it's hard to shred off the cost of repairing the storm-damaged weapons systems when jet fighters cost.
"Bases have been running down the storms, and I think the military thought, to some extent, it was a cost of doing business, "said Rear Adm. David W. Titley, retired, former Chief Operating Officer of NOAA who now runs the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Pennsylvania State University.
Repeated destructive hurricanes in the past 20 years have spurred the military to create what he calls "exquisite bureaucracy" of task forces, road maps and public assurances about actions
"Tyndall is going to get whacked again sooner or later," the admiral said. "But how often? That's the crux.
An Air Force spokeswoman, Ann.
Tyndall is now a blank slate that should be rebuilt to anticipate an even worse storm, Admiral Titley said Stefanek, said that these days, when buildings are put up or down at the coast, they are designed to withstand storms and flooding. She said common-sense precautions were so-called relocating generators out of floodable basements.
Andersen Air Force Base, in Typhoon Alley on the World Wide Web.
The Air Force has a base that can serve as a model Pacific island of Guam.
The base was destroyed by the ferocious winds of Typhoon Karen in 1962, which was 175 miles an hour, and has since been hit by a powerful storms since then. Andersen's location makes it difficult to move the base's stealth bombers, drones and other aircraft quickly approaching the storm's path, so the base's hangars have become hardened with steel and concrete to exceptionally storm-resistant; 195m.p.h.
Building that way is very pricey, even by Defense Department standards. A storm-rated hangar now under construction at Andersen is expected to cost $ 64 million. A recent hangar recently completed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville recently cost $ 123 million, and it is rated only to 120 m.p.h. winds. So search projects take years to design, bid and erect. In the meantime, irreplaceable stealth fighters remain at risk.
Within hours after Hurricane Michael had moved on from Tyndall, the Air Force had cleared a runway and started flying in heavy equipment. But the base's 33 airworthy F-22s have stayed away. Langley Air Force Base outside Newport News, Va.
Langley what are they because F-22s are based there, and equipment and Maintenance crews could be shared. But the base, on a flood-prone coastal peninsula, is no safe haven. Most recently, Hurricane Isabel has caused $ 146 million in damage at the base. At least 13 grounded stealth fighters rode out Isabel crammed into a single hangar that was rated to withstand a Category 2 hurricane.
"Langley should be worried about a lot of bases," said John Conger, who oversaw environmental policy for the Defense Department during the Obama administration and now directs the Center for Climate and Security. Where are the consequences of a direct hit are just huge. "