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Senior Enlisted Aircrew Wings - link to

TSgt USAF (Ret)

Senior Meteorologist Badge - link to Air Force Weather

Click Pictures for larger view
(caption from original photo in the AWS Observer, Vol. 26 No. 1, January, 1980)
KEESLER'S TOP VISITOR - Gen. Lew Allen, Jr., Air Force Chief of Staff, listens intently as TSgt. Joseph Tabaco of the 920th Weather Reconnaissance Group (Reserve), Keesler AFB, Miss., explains the  function of a newly designed computer weather equipment used by the Group in performing its mission. The General recently visited Keesler AFB to view damage there caused by Hurricane David. While touring the facilities of the Reserve's "Storm Trackers," weather officers at the base briefed General Allen on how the computer equipment stores weather data.
Joe Tabaco holding weather balloon.
July 20th, 2003, Open House at WFO OKX for BNL Summer Sunday Tours.
In 1968, I was making ~$1000.00/yr (that’s one thousand dollars a year) as an Airman, when the USAF sent me to a course on how to launch weather balloons.
So here I am 35 years later in 2003 making >$1000.00/week still launching weather balloons. In June, 2004, I will be retired from the National Weather Service!

The End Is Here!
Joey's last day at work

the sweet public forcaster

Joey at the obs workstation monitoring the (l-r) UA MicroART, NYC ASOS, HydroPC, 4 AWIPS, NJ ALERT and 2 NWR CRS computer screens, assisting:

the charming aviation forecaster

Michael Wyllie wrote:

On May 31, 2004 Joseph Tabaco will retire from NOAA's National Weather  Service after a combined federal weather career of 36 years in both the Air Weather Service and the National Weather Service. Joe’s career began in 1968 at Chanute Air Force Base in a Weather Observers course and ended up at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Upton, NY as a senior Hydromet Tech who will launch his last weather balloon this Memorial Day.

Joe has had an exciting weather career. He has done everything from flying into typhoons and hurricanes to helping bring the NWS into the computer age. His widespread corporate knowledge of the National Weather Service, and the Eastern Region in particular, will be sorely missed.

A retirement party is planned in Joe’s honor. It will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2004 at 1 PM at the 56th Fighter Group Restaurant in Farmingdale, NY. If you would like to attend please contact Florence Denis at 631-924-0037 x221 or Mike Wyllie 631-924-0037 x222.

If you are unable to attend and would like to send a card or gift, please mail it to the forecast office at:

National Weather Service
175 Brookhaven Ave
Building NWS-1
Upton, NY 11973

For the time being Joe and his wife, Jackie, will continue to reside at their present location in Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, and can be reached by email at:


Unfortunately, I have had to retire from retirement and am working part time for the FAA contractor, CSR, as a weather observer at Islip Long Island MacArthur Airport weather station. Oh well...

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