The 238 employees on the INL Air Wing program at Patrick AFB in Melbourne, Florida weathered Hurricane Matthew while maintaining continuous SATCOM communications both locally and with the forward country teams during the 36 hour storm duration.
“We had a great prep plan – the team really pulled through with implementation,” said Joe Dunaway, Air Wing program manager and BAT lead. “No forward missions were affected in any of our locations around the world and the Florida team survived unscathed. It was a win all around.”
Hurricane Matthew hit the Melbourne area with maximum winds of 115 miles per hour and the hurricane eye less than 30 miles off the coast of Florida. The storm traveled up the Eastern U.S. coastline before dissipating into a tropical storm.
Several Air Wing employees live on the Florida barrier islands, a mandatory evacuation area. All the Air Wing employees, whether they evacuated or remained, pulled through the storm and are safe and uninjured.
“Damage to our facilities was minor considering the force of the storm,” continued Joe. “We were very lucky – had Matthew come on shore it would have been devastating, similar to that of Andrew in 1992.”