Kadena Airmen prep for Typhoon Neoguri

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By Staff Sgt. Rachelle Coleman, 18th Wing Public Affairs / Published July 07, 2014

Senior Airman Joshua Sloan replaces a tire on a KC-135 Stratotanker July 6, 2014, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. Airmen began preparing aircraft for evacuation from Okinawa, Japan in advance of a massive typhoon expected to hit the island July 8. Okinawa is susceptible to and threatened by several typhoons each year, but military personnel are quick to secure equipment and aircraft from damaging winds. Sloan is with the 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Marcus Morris)

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Kadena Air Base Airmen and their families are bracing for a massive typhoon expected to slam the island July 8, with winds gusts nearing 200 mph.

Brig. Gen. James B. Hecker, the 18th Wing commander, declared Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 3, or TCCOR 3, and base personnel began evacuating their aircraft July 6, in preparation for Typhoon Neoguri.

"I can't stress enough how dangerous this typhoon may be when it hits Okinawa," Hecker said in a message to the base community. "This is the most powerful typhoon forecast to hit the island in 15 years; we expect damaging winds to arrive by early Tuesday morning.

"This is not just another typhoon,” he continued. “If we all follow the typhoon procedures and take care of each other, we will all make it through this typhoon safely."

Aircraft were evacuated to other bases in the Pacific to prevent physical damage and ensure they are able to continue to operate. Based on the position of the incoming typhoon, flying squadrons’ leadership decided which aircraft to evacuate, and which aircraft will be placed in hangars.

In the current TCCOR, housing residents are instructed to remove or secure all outdoor and balcony items, fill vehicles and grill propane tanks, keep important documents safe, and clear debris from gutters, storm drains, sidewalks and ditches near their quarters. Personnel should also initiate a general clean up around office buildings.

The 18th Wing’s weather flight monitors tropical storms and typhoons, and serves as a focal point for typhoon information on Okinawa, Japan, as part of the Pacific Command's Tropical Cyclone Warning System.

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