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U.S. Air Combat Command Assesses Climate Change Threats to the Air Force 

General Mikes Holmes

General James Mikes Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command

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. 


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