A really bad year for USAF bases

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Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Jan 31, 2009
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"If God be for us, who can be against us?" - Corporal Upham quoting Romans 8:31

Home Of Strategic Command And Some Of The USAF's Most Prized Aircraft Is Flooding
Offutt Air Force Base is succumbing to the massively swollen Missouri River and things could get worse before they get better.
17 Mar 2019


The home to America's prized RC-135 "Rivet Joint" strategic reconnaissance and E-4B "Nightwatch" Advanced Airborne Command Post aircraft, as well as others, and the headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), is flooding with water from a swollen Missouri River.

Offutt Air Force Base sits near Omaha, Nebraska and is considered one of the most critical installations in the U.S. Air Force's portfolio. Not only does it house extremely high-value, but low density reconnaissance and command and control aircraft—massively expensive platforms that are essential to national security—but it is also the beating heart of STRATCOM that oversees America's strategic nuclear forces. In fact, a brand new command bunker, buried underground at the base, was just opened in January—which sounds far less than ideal considering water is now nearly covering the end of the base's runway.

...considering the strategic operations centers that are the backbone of STRATCOM are located at the base, many of which are underground, this flood could prove to be way more harmful than the damage done to aircraft and basic infrastructure above ground. Hopefully the waters crest without that being the case and Airman have been hard at work filling tens of thousands of sandbags to help protect key areas. Also, a 740 foot long, four foot tall system of barriers was flown in from Louisiana so that a building housing the base's highly expensive flight simulators could have at least some protection from being flooded.

Offutt's commanding officer, Colonel Michael Manion, noted 15 hours ago that major damage is already being done to the base and that the rising river's edge isn't the only way water is flooding into critical areas:

"Team - 1600L/16 March update. Water is rising at a rapid rate on the SE side of the base. Water is entering from the river and through the storm drains. Several buildings including the Wing Building are inundated with water. We continue to work as rapidly as possible to improve water defenses around critical infrastructure. Team Offutt is doing an incredible job - working together but Mother Nature is moving fast. OPPD, City of Bellevue, Sarpy County, and State of Nebraska are tremendous partners. Be careful out there - our heavy machinery is operating at full capacity. Please give them plenty of space."