Tinker’s Aircraft Return

After relocating to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to avoid severe storms, six E-3 AWACs airplanes and two Navy E-6Bs returned home to Tinker AFB, Okla. The aircraft, carrying crew members from the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 72nd Security Forces Squadron, arrived back at Tinker on May 21, according to a Davis-Monthan release. Their return came one day after a devastating tornado wreaked havoc near the base. One E-3 and the E-6Bs flew to Arizona on May 17, while the five other E-3s departed Tinker on May 20, just hours before the tornado touched down in Moore, several miles south of the base. Tinker officials chose Davis-Monthan because of its location, around-the-clock operations, and ramp space that can support heavy aircraft, said A1C Barbie Kramer, airfield operations coordinator of Davis-Monthan’s 355th Operations Support Squadron. “Tinker didn’t have anywhere closer that they could go to quickly,” said Kramer. “With a tornado warning or any other evacuation, they can come to us, and they know we have the space or will coordinate for the space to be made,” she said. (Davis-Monthan report by A1C Betty R. Chevalier)