Women of Weather: Hurricane Hunters Make a Difference

By Air Force Maj. Marne A.C. Losurdo, 403rd Wing

Two Air Force officers realized their dreams about becoming a Hurricane Hunter and flying into the most powerful storms on Earth.

Air Force Maj. Ashley Lundry, an aerial reconnaissance weather officer, and Air Force Maj. Devon Meister, a pilot, are both members of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, referred to as the Hurricane Hunters, a unit in the 403rd Wing here.

The 53rd WRS is the only Defense Department unit that flies reconnaissance missions into severe tropical weather during the hurricane season, June 1 through Nov. 30, to gather data for the National Hurricane Center to improve their forecasts and storm warnings.

Father’s Support

“It was my dream to fly though hurricanes since I was a little girl,” Lundry said. Her father, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Navy pilot, influenced her career choice, she said. “I always thought weather was really cool, and my dad told me there were pilots who flew planes through hurricanes,” she added. “He planted the idea that I could do it.”

And she did, though she first served in the Army and the Air National Guard. Lundry received an Army ROTC scholarship to attend the Florida Institute of Technology, earning a degree in meteorology and her commission in 2006. She got her master’s degree in physical science at Emporia State…

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