RICHMOND, Va. – Airmen from the Virginia Air National Guard’s Sandston-based 200th Weather Flight, 192nd Fighter Wing provided weather support for the Union Cycliste Internationale Road World Cycling Championship held Sept. 18-27, 2015, in Richmond, Va.
“The 200th Weather Flight’s Tier-1 Weather Resource was tasked by a Joint Staff operational order to provide weather resource protection for this event,” said Staff Sgt. Heather R. Hosman, weather forecaster. “As with all domestic operations, we report to both military and civilian leadership. In this case, we are working hand-in-hand with a Joint Force Headquarters-Virginia liaison at a multi-jurisdictional operations center.”
Co-located with city, county and state agencies at the Richmond International Raceway, Hosman, Master Sgt. Malvin Johnson and Senior Airman Aaron Bousquet worked out of a temporary facility equipped with meteorological instruments, weather equipment and technology designed to view weather maps and monitor constantly fluctuating patterns to determine forecasts.
Hosman explained that their role was to provide forecasts to the first responders and military organizations to help them plan their support for the race.
Not only was this mission an opportunity to work with multiple local and state agencies, it was also an excellent training environment for Virginia Air Guard members to demonstrate their technical skills and capabilities, said Hosman.
“This type of training environment teaches unit members to maintain a high level of situational awareness and the ability to think on their feet,” said Hosman. “These challenges are faced by all military forecasters domestically and down-range. It’s better to learn from your mistakes here than during combat operations in a deployed situation.”