Robins Air Force Base provides crucial weather info in community, world

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Robins Air Force Base is a central part of Warner Robins for many reasons you’ve probably heard, but here’s a reason you may not have: the base provides crucial information about the weather.

The minds who work at its weather center inform military aircraft about inclement weather, including, “upper-level turbulance, icing [and] landing conditions,” says Staff Sgt. Arthur Gonzalez.

As you’d expect, aircraft arrives at the base but they also travel to places all around the world, and the team is watching.

While 41NBC visited, they were monitoring Florida because they had interests in the Sunshine State. The base is crucial for the Middle Georgia Regional Airport and the aircraft that flies into the area, but it provides more to the community than that.

“The fire stations sometimes around 4th of July they do concerts, and they often call us and they ask us, they say ‘Okay, what’s the weather looking like? Are we gonna get rain that evening? Is the concert good to go?'” says Sgt. Benjamin Reeves.

“We don’t just look at the five miles around the station is what we’re responsible for, we really look at the whole community. And we would never turn down any kind of request just because it’s not technically part of what we, the information we’re supposed to provide.”

And a helpful resource is the radar on base, one that the 41NBC weather team uses every day.

That’s where radar technician George Pacheco comes in — to make sure it works. If the radar is down, it’s usually simply due to a bad internet connection.

“We are just as susceptible to connectivity issues as everyone else is,” Pacheco says.

Having been in the radar business for 20 years, he’s seen huge strides going from analog to digital.

“The outages are easier to take care of. They may be more time-consuming when it comes to finding that 1 and 0 that’s missing somewhere,” Pacheco adds.

Currently, they’re in the process of getting a WiFi connection so there’s always a backup if the connection goes down.

Robins Air Force Base was the first military installation to be designated StormReady by the National Weather Service.

To be Storm-Ready, a community has to be able to forecast, track and issue warnings about storms around the clock, more than one way to alert the public about severe weather, and help ready the public through seminars and emergency exercises.

January 28, 2016 | Posted in