Military planes escape Hurricane Michael; stationed at Millington airport

Military planes escape Hurricane Michael; stationed at Millington airport

MILLINGTON, TN (WMC) - Hurricane Michael has forced evacuations all along the Florida Panhandle, and it’s considered the strongest hurricane on record to strike that area.

Those evacuations landed military personnel in the Mid-South area.

There about 40 aircraft being housed at the Millington-Memphis Airport to get out of Hurricane Michael's deadly path.

Millington-Memphis Airport Executive Director Roy Remington said these 40 or so aircraft are the primary trainer for every naval aviator that wants to be a rotary pilot.

"For us to serve the mission of protecting this fleet while they’re in harm’s way is a way for us to kind of pay that back,” Remington said.

The airport is no stranger to helping out in relief efforts. Last month, there were more than a dozen military aircraft housed at the airport ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Remington said it’s just their way of paying back the men and women flying these aircraft now, who one day may be crucial in these types of relief efforts.

“The ones that would perform helicopter rescue operations with the Coast Guard,” Remington said. “Those that would go on and become recovery pilots with the U.S. Navy.”

The plan is for these helicopters and the personnel to depart Thursday morning, but it depends on the force and direction of the storm.

Remington said there are about 80 navy personnel here in the Memphis-area along with these aircraft.

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