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Combat Camera flies with Hurricane Hunters

Photo of WC-130J preparing for take off.

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Jenna Daniel, loadmaster, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, communicates with the pilots of WC-130J Super Hercules during engine start for a pre-dawn mission to fly through the eye of Hurricane Irma Sep. 10, 2017. The Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" fly WC-130J Super Hercules though the eye of active hurricanes to collect weather data using aircraft and externally dropped sensors to provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center on approaching hurricanes. The Reserve Citizen Airmen provide 100 percent of the Air Force capability in low-level, real time data collection in Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Kyle Brasier)

Aerial photo of the Florida Keys inside the eye of Hurricane Irma

The Florida Keys inside the eye of Hurricane Irma from an Air Force Reserve WC-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sep. 10, 2017. The Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" fly WC-130J Super Hercules though the eye of active hurricanes to collect weather data using aircraft and externally dropped sensors to provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center on approaching hurricanes. The Reserve Citizen Airmen provide 100 percent of the Air Force capability in low-level, real time data collection in Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Kyle Brasier)

Photyo of Airmen inside a WC-130J Hurricane Hunter.

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Karen Moore, left, and Tech. Sgt. Jenna Daniel both loadmaster with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, look at meteorological data at their workstation on a WC-130J Super Hercules during a mission to fly through the eye of Hurricane Irma Sep. 10, 2017. The Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" fly WC-130J Super Hercules though the eye of active hurricanes to collect weather data using aircraft and externally dropped sensors to provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center on approaching hurricanes. The Reserve Citizen Airmen provide 100 percent of the Air Force capability in low-level, real time data collection in Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Kyle Brasier)

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Karen Moore, loadmaster, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi,  holds a Dropsonde while flying into Hurricane Irma Sep. 8, 2017.

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Karen Moore, loadmaster, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, holds a Dropsonde while flying into Hurricane Irma Sep. 8, 2017. The Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" fly WC-130J Super Hercules though the eye of active hurricanes to collect weather data using aircraft and externally dropped sensors to provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center on approaching hurricanes. The Reserve Citizen Airmen provide 100 percent of the Air Force capability in low-level, real time data collection in Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Kyle Brasier)

Air Force Reserve Maj. Lucas Caulder, pilot, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, pilots a WC-130J Super Hercules though clouds illuminated by lighting as they heads into a low-level pass though Hurricane Irma Sep. 8, 2017.

Air Force Reserve Maj. Lucas Caulder, pilot, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, pilots a WC-130J Super Hercules though clouds illuminated by lighting as they heads into a low-level pass though Hurricane Irma Sep. 8, 2017. The Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" fly WC-130J Super Hercules though the eye of active hurricanes to collect weather data using aircraft and externally dropped sensors to provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center on approaching hurricanes. The Reserve Citizen Airmen provide 100 percent of the Air Force capability in low-level, real time data collection in Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Kyle Brasier)

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Karen Moore, loadmaster, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, prepares a dropsonde to release into Hurricane Irma while flying into the hurricane, Sep. 8, 2017.

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Karen Moore, loadmaster, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, prepares a dropsonde to release into Hurricane Irma while flying into the hurricane, Sep. 8, 2017. The Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" fly WC-130J Super Hercules though the eye of active hurricanes to collect weather data using aircraft and externally dropped sensors to provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center on approaching hurricanes. The Reserve Citizen Airmen provide 100 percent of the Air Force capability in low-level, real time data collection in Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg)

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Karen Moore, loadmaster, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, records weather information while flying into Hurricane Irma, Sep. 8, 2017.

Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Karen Moore, loadmaster, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, records weather information while flying into Hurricane Irma, Sep. 8, 2017. The Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" fly WC-130J Super Hercules though the eye of active hurricanes to collect weather data using aircraft and externally dropped sensors to provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center on approaching hurricanes. The Reserve Citizen Airmen provide 100 percent of the Air Force capability in low-level, real time data collection in Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- It’s not often that Air Force Reservists arrive at Unit Training Assembly “weekend drill” and in short order find themselves flying into an eye of a hurricane, but that’s exactly what happened to Staff Sgt. Kyle Brasier and Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

The two combat camera Reserve Citizen Airmen were en-route from their homes in Stevensville, Michigan and Venice, California, respectively, when they were informed the UTA had been postponed due the impending landfall of Hurricane Irma in Charleston. They arrived as the evacuation order was issued and immediately attempted to book a return flight a home, but were diverted to the hurricane instead of away from it.

Air Force Reserve Command rerouted them to Keesler Air Force Base. Mississippi, where they joined their fellow Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, "The Hurricane Hunters.” The combat camera Airmen soon found themselves in a WC-130J Super Hercules flying though the eye of Hurricane Irma documenting efforts to collect weather data using an externally dropped sensors.

The sensors provide accurate weather data to the National Hurricane Center. Low-level, real-time data collection in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean tropical weather system is vital mission that is a unique capability found only in the Air Force Reserve.

An artist who makes his living working in multiple mediums, Lundborg recently joined the 4th CTCS. “This is exactly why I joined combat camera. I can combine my talent for visual storytelling and my desire to serve my country into a single action that has an immediate impact. ”

Lundborg’s video has been picked up by MSN, The Daily Telegraph in UK, Yahoo news and other media organizations reaching millions providing near real-time imagery and showcasing a vital Air Force Reserve mission. To see the video and other Department of Defense imagery captured in support of Hurricane Irma operations:


A photojournalist who recently completely back-to-back missions in support of Mobility Guardian and Patriot Warrior, Brasier was ready for the next opportunity to tell the Air Force story.


“I take tremendous pride in being an Air Force Reservist and when I can tell the Citizen Airmen it’s awesome,” said Brasier. “These Hurricane Hunters have a vital mission that I enjoyed documenting.”

The two Reserve Citizen Airmen flew two missions passing through the eye of Hurricane Irma eight times before heading home after 22 hours of flight time with the 53rd WRS.