C-130 Hercules Joins Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Storm Trackers"


C-130 Hercules Joins Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, "Storm Trackers"

The venerable C-130 Hercules joined weather recce in 1963. At last, using this sturdy, pressurized aircraft, crews could penetrate a hurricane without getting soaked by the heavy rain! The "B" and "E" models of the WC-130 flew many years, and the "H" model continues to fly today. These "Herks" are now over 30 years old, but have proved to be the most dependable of all the aircraft in the pages of weather history. In 1975, a new contender in the exclusive "hurricane hunting" mission arrived: the Air Force Reserve! The 815th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, "Storm Trackers" was born from a tactical airlift squadron just down the street from the 53rd, and soon both units were sharing the bulk of the hurricane missions (with NOAA flying a few of the storms as well). They soon became all respected counterparts to the active-duty 53rd.

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