Kadena prepares for typhoon

  • Published
  • By Maj. Dani Johnson
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base members are bracing for Typhoon Man-Yi as its current path will pass over Okinawa, base weather officials said.

With the advance notification, base units have started typhoon preparation for Okinawa's first typhoon this year.

Right now it should hit the island sometime the morning of July 13 with winds gusting at 75 knots and up to 125 knots, said Capt. Jonathan Wilson, the 18th Operations Support Squadron weather flight commander. "If it moves even slightly in a westward direction, we will have a much more serious storm."

"We have already created hangaring and evacuation plans for base aircraft," said Lt. Col. John Bukowinski, the 18th Maintenance Group deputy commander. "This is something we haven't done in a year, but we take it very seriously."

Base F-15 Eagles, HH-60 Pave Hawks and the 1-1 Air Defense Artillery Battalion high-value equipment as well as any nonmission capable aircraft will be sheltered in hangars and protective aircraft shelters on base. Larger base aircraft, including the KC-135 Stratotanker, RC-135 Rivet Joint, MC-130 Combat Talon, P-3 and E-3 will evacuate to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Across the base, units are preparing their facilities to withstand high winds by securing loose equipment and moving what can be moved indoors. Family housing members are also tying down outdoor living items that cannot be placed inside.

"Last year was a very calm year and we didn't really get hit too hard by any typhoons," Captain Wilson said. "This one could be different, but it's important that no one becomes complacent just because last year was mild.

"Also, if we get a direct hit, do not go outside until told it is all clear," he said. "Many times people can be fooled by the eye of the storm when things are calm. They go outside and before they know it the other side of the system passes over and they are caught."

Last year the base went into typhoon condition preparation three times with no severe storm outcomes.