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MacDill Air Force Base evacuating aircraft ahead of Elsa

Officials are not anticipating a full evacuation of the base at this time.

TAMPA, Fla. — MacDill Air Force Base sticks outward toward Tampa Bay, which is good for flight traffic but not when a tropical storm threatens.

Leaders there announced Sunday afternoon that KC-135s from the 6th Air Refueling Wing are evacuating to McConnell Air Force Base, located in Wichita, Kansas, as a precaution.

They will return once the storm passes the area.

The base commander also declared HURCON 4.

"The safety of our service members, families, and aircraft are paramount," Col. Benjamin Jonsson, the 6th Air Refueling Wing Commander said in a statement. "We need to launch our aircraft in a timely manner so that our maintainers and flight crew can take care of their families before Elsa arrives."

Active duty, civilians and contractor members at the base are asked to telework "to the maximum extent possible." There will be limited base access and "mission essential personnel only" starting Tuesday, July 6.

Base officials are in touch with Hillsborough County leaders in regards to further safety measures, including an evacuation of the base itself -- however, that is not anticipated.

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