U.S. Air Force in Florida Preparing for Isaac (Update on Convention)
A GOES-13 infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Isaac provided by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Monterey, Calif., shows the storm at 11:00 a.m. EST as it passes over Cuba. NRL projections expect Isaac to strengthen into a hurricane and impact the Gulf Coast of the United States on Wednesday, Aug. 29. U.S. Navy photo
The Republican National Committee has just released a statement saying that due to concerns related to Tropical Storm Isaac, Monday events in Tampa are canceled. Party Chairman Reince Priebus said in the statement the convention will convene Monday and “immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon.”
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With Tropical Storm Isaac bearing down on the Dominican Republic and Haiti and threatening to strengthen over the eastern Caribbean, the “Hurricane Hunters” from the Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron are in the air, relaying critical data to National Weather Service forecasters in Miami.
Read all about these men and women who literally “fly into the eye of the storm” to protect you and me here
You’ll read about a “typical” 12-hour mission.
You’ll read about how, “with about six missions already under their belts during the past three days, the pace will pick up considerably — like to four and five missions day — as Isaac moves to within 300 miles of the U.S. coastline.”
Northcom, too, is in a monitoring mode. But with the storm expected to intensify late this weekend when it hits the Atlantic and the Florida Straits, the command deployed a defense coordinating officer and element to Puerto Rico on Aug. 20 to support FEMA, John Cornelio, Northcom’s media operations chief, told American Forces Press Service.
The element of about 20 people is assessing the situation and standing ready to provide assistance, if requested. “We have learned the value of being forward enough to cut down on the response time, if required,” Cornelio said.
With Isaac’s path still anyone’s guess, officials say it’s too soon to know whether it will hit Tampa, site of next week’s Republican National Convention. Northcom has a team deployed there to support the Secret Service during the convention, Cornelio reported.
At 2:00 PM EDT tropical storm Isaac was located at 16.8°N 71.4°W moving NW at 14 mph with a minimum barometric pressure of 997 mb and maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, but, according to the National Weather Service, Isaac is currently gaining strength, as it moves west-northwestward toward the southern coast of Hispaniola.
I have no idea what the Republican Party is doing about Isaac in Tampa, but the U.S. Air Force is already taking precautions:
According to the American Forces Press Service the military has moved aircraft out of the way of the possible path of Tropical Storm Isaac.
22 Air Force Reserve F-16′s at Florida’s Homestead Air Reserve Base were flown to Naval Air Station Fort Worth in Texas.
Eight C-130′s that had been relocated from Muniz Air National Guard Base in Puerto Rico to Florida’s MacDill Air Force Base are being flown back after it was determined the base was no longer in Isaac’s possible path. (MacDill AFB is located near Tampa, Fl.)
In addition to sustainment of normal operations and support at least 1,700 Florida National Guardsmen will be primed for disaster response in case the storm would strike Florida, where the Republican National Convention will be underway Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Crosson said.