Tinker OK, but Airmen Face Effects of Tornado

The ferocious F4-force tornado that leveled large swaths of Moore, Okla., on Monday spared Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, a base spokeswoman told the Daily Report on Tuesday. Although the base was up and running at mid-day on May 21, many nearby roads were closed and phone lines were down, and Tinker officials were still trying to make an accounting of the nearly 30,000 airmen and civilian employees who work on base, she said. Tinker dispatched assets—emergency vehicles and fire trucks—that, along with many volunteers from the base, were helping local authorities deal with the aftermath of the storms, which killed at least 24 people and destroyed a local school and hospital. The tornado hit about three miles south of Tinker, said base officials in a May 21 release. There are more than 18,000 dependents and 36,000 retirees in the six counties surrounding the base, which is Oklahoma’s single largest employer. Tinker units operate E-3 AWACS and KC-135R tankers, and the Oklahoma City depot is the hub of repair and overhaul for the B-1B, B-52, C/KC-135, E-3, and Navy E-6 aircraft, and the F100, F101, F108, F110, F117, F118, F119, and TF-33 engines.