Jacksonville, FL - Naval Station Mayport is taking part in three weeks of natural disaster preparedness exercises, concentrating on the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. The exercises will help train personnel on how to act and what to do in case a major hurricane develops.
“How do we move ships, clear contractors and ship repair agencies out of the basin, so they don’t lose gear? How do we prepare the helicopters to fly them off and where do they go?”
These exercises will make sure those questions can be answered, providing personnel with a better ability to handle a real hurricane when the time comes, says Naval Station Mayport Emergency Manager Steve Millican. Millican says as many as 5,000 people at Naval Station Mayport have never been through this training before.
He says the fictitious storm will originate just east of the Leeward Islands, then travel all the way up the eastern seaboard where it will make simulated landfall in the Virginia area, wreaking havoc in the heavily populated areas surrounding Washington, DC.
Also participating will be the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, headquartered in Norfolk, VA, and Washington, DC-based Commander, Navy Installations Command. Hurricane Exercise/Citadel Gale 2018 runs through May 11th. NAS Jacksonville will participate by reviewing and exercising heavy weather instructions and procedures and accounting for Sailors, Department of the Navy civilians, and Navy families in the affected regions.
Millican says outside of immediate personnel and families, residents who live nearby can attend family preparedness event on May 22nd. He hopes residents who live in hurricane-prone areas will take note of these exercises and be prepared themselves.