BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE - Air Force fighters and tankers from North Carolina will take refuge at Barksdale Air Force Base from Hurricane Irene this week, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Dozens of jets from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will come to Barksdale near Bossier City in advance of the storm currently threatening the East Coast.

The Air Force will move about 60 F-15E Strike Eagles and seven KC-135R Stratotankers to Barksdale Thursday.

Staff Sgt. Heather Stanton, with public affairs at Seymour Johnson, also said the 5,000 military men and women at that installation are getting ready for possible high winds, flooding and other damage associated with storms.

Barksdale has provided refuge to airplanes for other storms, including 2005’s hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 1999’s Hurricane Floyd, 1998’s Hurricane Bonnie and 1996’s Hurricane Bertha.