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News > Tinker aircraft return to Oklahoma after diverting to Arizona base
D-M houses Oklahoma aircraft during tornado
Five E-3 Sentry aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., await pre-flight procedures to return to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., May 21, 2013. Seven aircraft arrived at Davis-Monthan in advance of inclement weather that threatened Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)
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Tinker aircraft return to Oklahoma after diverting to Arizona base

Posted 5/22/2013   Updated 5/23/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/22/2013 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.  -- Six U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry and two U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury aircraft returned to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., May 21, 2013, after diverting to Davis-Monthan in advance of severe weather in Oklahoma.

The E-6Bs and one E-3 arrived May 17, while the other five E-3s arrived May 20 with less than eight hours notice. The inclement weather that caused the aircraft to divert included a tornado that touched down, destroying Moore, Okla., a small town located about 3 miles south of Tinker AFB.

The 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron deputy officer made the decision for the aircraft to divert to Davis-Monthan due to inclement weather, said Airman 1st Class Barbie Kramer, 355th Operations Support Squadron airfield operations coordinator. Davis-Monthan was chosen over other bases due to its location and 24/7 operations with a ramp space to support the heavy aircraft.

"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."

Flying crew for all the aircraft along with eight members from the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and security forces members from the 72nd Security Forces Squadron arrived with the E-3 aircraft.

The E-3 is an airborne warning and control systems aircraft, better known as AWACS. Tinker AFB and Davis-Monthan security forces worked together to maintain around-the-clock security of the high-valued assets.

Tinker AFB Airmen are helping the community to find survivors and restore the local community.

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