Hunting hurricanes

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE -- Capt. Tina Smith, a 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron meteorologist, monitors data obtained during a 10-hour mission through tropical storm Felicia Aug. 7. The unit, also known as the Hurricane Hunters, operate the WC-130J aircraft for weather reconnaissance into some of the most violent storms on Earth -- tropical cyclones. Hurricane Felicia reached peak strength as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of more than 145 mph. The 53rd WRS is a one-of-a-kind U.S. Air Force Reserve unit and the only Department of Defense organization still flying into tropical storms and hurricanes since 1944. Their fleet of 10 Lockheed-Martin WC-130J aircraft and crews are part of the 403rd Wing, based at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Mike Meares)

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