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U.S. aircraft moved from Dubai Airshow ahead of storm

An aircraft is pictured during a sandstorm at the Dubai Airshow November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

DUBAI (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Wednesday began moving 12 U.S. aircraft on display at the Dubai Airshow to a nearby maintenance facility ahead of a major sandstorm and thunderstorm expected to hit the region, a spokesman for U.S. Air Force Central Command said.

Major David Faggard said U.S. officials decided to move the aircraft away from the static display at the air show given forecasts of 45-knot winds and severe thunderstorms.

Air show organizers said precautions were being taken to secure the display area, but they were unaware of plans by other aircraft owners to move their aircraft.

"It is our understanding that the US Department of Defense aircraft are due to be moved to the maintenance area at the Dubai Airshow as a precaution to any adverse weather over night and will be re-positioned on the static display tomorrow," the airshow's organizer, F&E Aerospace, said in a statement.

The U.S. military brought a wide array of aircraft to the show, including two helicopters, a stealthy Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT) F-22, four V-22 tiltrotor aircraft built by Boeing Co and Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc (TXT), a Boeing F-15E fighter and a B-1 bomber.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens)