Shaw moves its F-16s to Barksdale ahead of Irma

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All operable F-16 CM Fighting Falcon aircraft were evacuated from Shaw Air Force Base on Friday, according to a Shaw Public Affairs news release. The 20th Fighter Wing commander declared HURCON 4 because of the possibility of winds greater than 58 mph within 72 hours. All operable aircraft were evacuated to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, because of limited hardened facilities capable of storing them at Shaw, the release said.

Inoperable aircraft are stored in hardened facilities at Shaw for protection from Hurricane Irma, the release said.

Technical Sgt. Nathanial Allen said Thursday fighter wing commanders must consider several issues before moving the aircraft.

"As the Air Force's core suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) wing, 20th Fighter Wing F-16s provide a distinct capability to combatant commanders around the globe," Allen said. "For this reason, we are cautious in our risk acceptance as it pertains to aircraft."

Allen said there is limited hangar availability for storing and securing aircraft, so commandeers follow standards set by the Air Force for evacuating such high-value and mission-essential resources.

"In addition to hangar space restrictions, we must avoid consolidating large numbers of aircraft into one location," he said.

For the latest information about HURCON status at Shaw, access the 20th Fighter Wing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/20fighterwing, visit www.shaw.af.mil, or call the Shaw AFB Straight Talk line at (803) 895-8942.