MAYPORT, Fla.–Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet ordered U.S. Navy ships homeported at Naval Station Mayport to set Sortie Condition Alpha as Hurricane Dorian heads toward Florida’s Atlantic coast.
“Our top priority must always be the safety and security of our ships and aircraft, as well as our Sailors and families. We move our ships and aircraft in order to mitigate potential damage. When maintenance status prevents storm avoidance, we take extra precautions to best protect these units,” said Rear Adm. Don D. Gabrielson, commander, USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT. “We appreciate how our families support our missions even as their own homes face the risk of these difficult storms.”
USS Shamal (PC 13) got underway today, and USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Billings (LCS 15), and USS Milwaukee (LCS 15), are preparing to get underway from NS Mayport tomorrow as Hurricane Dorian is forecasted to bring high winds and rain to the Mid-Atlantic coast. Ships will be directed to areas of the Atlantic where they will be best postured for storm avoidance.
Commanding officers have a number of options when staying in port, depending on the severity of the weather. Some of these options include adding additional mooring and storm lines, dropping the anchor, and disconnecting shore power cables.
USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Detroit (LCS 7), USS Little Rock (LCS 9), USS Hue City (CG 66), USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) and USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) will shelter in place in the Mayport basin and will take precautions to avoid damage.
Additionally, Commander, Navy Region Southeast ordered all Navy installations in the Mayport area to set Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness Three (III), meaning sustained destructive winds of greater than 50 knots associated with a tropical system are possible within 48 hours.
Preparations for the storm include securing hazards throughout the installations, removing debris from drainage areas, designating alternate parking areas for flood prone areas, sand bagging flood prone areas, topping off fuel in generators and government vehicles and relocating dumpsters and equipment to more secure areas.
All personnel and their families should review their Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System account at https://navyfamily.navy.mil, as well as review hurricane checklists and evacuation plans in the event an evacuation is necessary. Service members are encouraged to discuss evacuation and reporting requirements with their chain of command and family members.
Sortie Conditions are as follows:
- Condition Charlie: Ships prepare to sortie within 48 hours to avoid heavy weather.
- Condition Bravo: Sortie is expected within 24 hours to avoid heavy weather.
- Condition Alpha: Sortie commences to avoid heavy weather.
Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness are as follows:
- Condition IV: Trend indicates possible destructive winds within 72 hours.
- Condition III: Destructive winds are possible within 48 hours.
- Condition II: Destructive winds are possible within 24 hours.
- Condition I: Destructive winds are possible within 12 hours.