March 6, 2009 (by SrA Michael Means) - F-22A Raptors from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, departed Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., on March 3 headed for the largest Air Force base in Alaska, as fears of volcanic activity at Mount Redoubt remain high.
USAF F-22A block 30 no. 07-4136 from the 90th FS departs Holloman AFB on its way home to Elmendorf AFB on March 3rd, 2009. Fourteen Raptors were deployed to Holloman to avoid volcanic activity at their home station. [USAF photo by TSgt. Chris Flahive]
Scientists continue to work around-the-clock to monitor Mount Redoubt, located 106 miles southwest of Elmendorf, which is adjacent to Anchorage.
"Team Elmendorf leadership has been very proactive in addressing prudent planning actions to ensure our ability to support the installation mission, our installation community and the local community. These are all priorities that we are fully capable of achieving," said Lt. Col. Dean Hartman, 3rd Civil Engineer Squadron commander.
The jets and personnel from the 3rd Maintenance Group were originally part of the Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., prior to their Feb. 17 arrival at Holloman.
Near the end of January, the Alaska Volcano Observatory issued a Volcano Activity Notification for Mount Redoubt, which changed the Volcano Alert Level to a "watch" and the Aviation Color Code to "orange."
Team Holloman welcomed the opportunity to help their fellow Airmen while also ensuring the Arctic Warriors and the Air Force's most advanced fighter remained a safe distance from any ash or fallout.
"Elmendorf leadership sent members from the Wing with 14 F-22s here to not only assure the safety of Air Force assets, but personnel as well," said Jeffery Harrigian, 49th Fighter Wing commander. "Through a joint effort by members of Team Holloman and Team Elmendorf we were able to ensure the 3rd Wing continued training, while also taking care of their people. We were glad to assist."
(1st Lt. Erin Slaughter from the 3rd Wing Public Affairs contributed to this story.)