News: We have a weather flight?
Story by 1st Lt. Brandy Fultz
ALPENA, Mich. – “Are we flying? Is the evening softball game still on? Can we golf this weekend?”
Many may not be aware, but the 181st Intelligence Wing has a talented group of airmen, the 113th Weather Flight, who play a crucial role in predicting the weather and its outcome on the mission, morale and other activities.
During annual field training with the 181st IW in Alpena, Mich., members of the weather flight provided vital forecast information to the Michigan Civil Air Patrol, and intelligence wing members conducting domestic operations, incident awareness and assessment training.
The annual training focused on providing analysis and imagery to civilian first responders in the event of a natural disaster or catastrophe.
“We are providing weather briefings to the pilots as they do their missions, and also we are doing resource protection for the entire base,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric Moore, 113th Weather Flight meteorological technician. “We will issue observed watches, warnings, and advisories for lightning, tornadoes, and severe weather that may roll through.”
Annual training with the 181st IW provides the weather flight a unique opportunity to work primarily with the Air Force, as they typically work with the Army.
“People may not be aware, but we are primarily an Army support unit on the base, so this training gives us the opportunity to really come out with the Air Force and do some Air Force unique training with the aviation assets we normally would not have with an Army infantry brigade unit,” said Moore.
Utilizing highly-technical equipment similar to what is typically seen in movies or storm chasing videos, the weather flight has several tools to aid in forecasting weather. The forecaster on duty is able to watch a storm develop, predict where severe weather will hit the ground, and dissect a storm, to include the capability of viewing the storm in 3-D.