By Mariah Furtek
According to Air Force Magazine, General Mike “Mobile” Holmes, Commander of Air Combat Command (ACC), recently tasked Air Force Weather forecasters with assessing the long-term vulnerability of Air Force assets to climate change threats.
The 14th Weather Squadron focused on ACC’s main operating bases: analyzing the impact of high winds, wildfires, floods, extreme temperatures, severe weather, and instrument flight rule conditions on the 50-mile radius surrounding each base. Forecasters paid special attention to areas where temperature and altitude cause aircraft performance issues, an issue I recently covered in a briefer for the Center for Climate and Security.
These forecasts will help the Air Force mitigate climate change-related threats to military readiness and performance capacity. General Holmes said these weather and climate threat assessments will help inform long-term basing decisions.
In the future, ACC plans to release readiness guidance to Air Force operations in “high-risk areas” of the US to help them prepare for the 2019 hurricane season.
These assessments and guidelines highlight how addressing weather and climate change is now a critical component of U.S. military readiness.