BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's a busy time at Keesler Air Force Base. Squadrons are constantly finishing one mission and preparing for the next, and both the Hurricane Hunters and Flying Jennies are keeping up the pace.
The 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, also known as the world famous Hurricane Hunters just returned from a trip to the Caribbean.
"It's a very, very good partnership that we have with all of the countries in the Caribbean and the islands," said Lt. Col. Jonathan Talbot, chief meteorologist for the Hurricane Hunters.
The trip was part of a hurricane awareness tour the squadron takes every year called CHAT, or Caribbean Hurricane Awareness Tour. Lt. Col. Talbot and Col. Frank Amodeo said this mission is extremely important in maintaining relationships with other countries.
"We are showing them the US military and our capabilities of partnering with our neighboring friends," said Col. Amodeo.
The tour focused on helping the Caribbean islands prepare for hurricane season. The CHAT mission is one that the Hurricane Hunters have performed for decades and it's still going strong.
Another squadron on the base is regaining its footing after a bit of uncertainty several years ago. The 815th airlift squadron, or Flying Jennies were almost removed from the base, but a decision was made to keep the squadron.
According to the commander of the Flying Jennies, Lt. Col. Stuart Rubio, a good bit has changed for the squadron in the past few years.
"We have started a rebuilding project. We are rebuilding the squadron," said Lt. Col. Rubio.
As the rebuilding process continues, the Flying Jennies keep performing missions. The latest was an airdrop with the the U.S. Navy Parachute Team over the Philadelphia Phillies home opener.
"The mission was a great opportunity for both units to get out and let the community know that we are active it was a great morale booster," said Flying Jennies Loadmaster, Staff Sgt. Moises Andino.
A morale booster that Col. Amodeo said the base needs.
"Certainly when we can go out for those airplanes, the pride is coming back," said Col. Amodeo.
He said a sense of normalcy is a welcome feeling at Keesler. The Hurricane Hunters are preparing for another awareness tour in May along the Gulf Coast.