Leader of Hurricane Hunters in Mississippi Reassigned

July 11, 2013

Col. Jay Jensen, commander of Mississippi’s 403rd Wing Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base, is transferring to the Pentagon.

Jensen has been at Keesler for two years and before that from 1999 to 2008.

Jensen tells The Sun Herald that a new commander for the Hurricane Hunters will take over at the end of July and operations will continue seamlessly.

“The Hurricane Hunter staff is highly experienced,” he said.

He said many of the pilots and mechanics have been at Keesler for several years.

“Our average reservist can stay here indefinitely,” Jensen said.

Jensen will become senior Air Force policy administrator to the Reserve Forces Policy Board under the Secretary of Defense. In that job, he will advocate for the role of reservists in the Air Force and across all military reserve forces.

The Hurricane Hunters will stay at Keesler but 10 of the C-130J planes in the 403rd will transfer to Pope Air Field in North Carolina. These transfers aren’t part of budget reductions but are a movement of assets around the Air Force.

The 345th Golden Eagles are active duty and will be reassigned to other active duty posts. The 815th Flying Jennies will be dissolved.

First the two units, which have continually broken records while flying in support of the troops in the war on terror, will deploy one last time to the Middle East this year.

He’ll miss flying “terribly,” said Jensen, who got his pilot’s license at age 17 and often flew into the storm with the Hurricane Hunters and on missions with the other units.

“I feel like I’m leaving some kids behind,” he said.

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