The commander of U.S. 4th Fleet has ordered all ships and aircraft to make preparations for Hurricane Ian’s expected arrival.
Ships will begin departures from Naval Air Station Mayport Tuesday, September 27 or complete heavy weather mooring if required to stay in port. Aircraft will initiate evacuations from area airfields or be secured in hangars rated to withstand hurricane force winds.
“Hurricane preparations were made months ago through a Navy-wide exercise ahead of the hurricane season,” said Rear Adm. Jim Aiken, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. “Our Sailors will now focus on the safe execution of those planning efforts to enable sustained fleet operations.”
Early this morning, Rear Adm. Wes McCall, Navy Region Southeast instructed all Navy installations in the Jacksonville area to set Hurricane Condition of Readiness Three in preparation for the storm. All bases are currently open, but are expected to close non-essential operations by Wednesday. Hurricane Condition of Readiness Three signifies that damaging winds are expected to affect the local area within 48 hours.
“The safety and security of our people is my top priority,” said McCall. “Currently the forecast for Hurricane Ian remains uncertain, however the Navy remains vigilant in preparing for its arrival and will work to keep our personnel, assets and installations informed and safe.”
The littoral combat ship, USS Little Rock (LCS 9) will be the first ship departing from Naval Station Mayport tomorrow at approximately noon. The remaining ships will depart throughout the day.
All personnel and their families should review their Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) account (https://navyfamily.navy.mil) and review hurricane checklists in the event an evacuation is deemed necessary.
Navy personnel and their families should visit the Ready Navy website at https://ready.navy.mil and follow Twitter (@ReadyNavy). Ready Navy provides information, tools and resources that empower the Navy family to more aptly prepare for, react and recover when faced with any emergency.