August 29, 2005

2005: With 145 mph winds and torrential rains, Katrina came ashore near Buras, La., and then crossed the coast of Mississippi and Alabama to devastate low-lying coastal areas and obliterate the south’s transportation, communication, and electricity networks. On 30 August, the protective levees around New Orleans gave way, allowing water from Lake Pontchartrain to flood the city and trap residents by the tens of thousands.
From 30 August through the last mission on 10 October, AMC and its AFRC- and ANG-gained units flew 38 C-5, 69 C-17, 63 C-130, 5 C-141, 2 C-9, and 28 commercial relief missions in the region to move 5,191 short tons of cargo, 13,717 passengers, and 1,794 patients. Additionally, to help maintain law and order in New Orleans, AMC carried 82d Airborne Division troops at Fort Bragg, N. C., from nearby Pope AFB. Two C-130 flights and 13 commercial missions returned Fort Bragg’s soldiers to Pope on 30 September and 1 October.
The AFFTC flew two sorties from Keesler AFB to test the WC-130J’s modified propeller under severe weather conditions. Testers flew repeatedly into Hurricane Katrina as it approached New Orleans. Katrina virtually destroyed Keesler AFB shortly afterwards.