U.S. Fleet Forces is preparing to send its some of its Naval Station Norfolk, Va. based warships out to sea ahead of feared Virginia landfall of Hurricane Joaquin, the command said Thursday afternoon.
Fleet Forces set Sortie Condition Bravo “in order to maintain fleet readiness as a precaution due to the approach of Hurricane Joaquin” in which ships in port must be prepared to ship out within 24 hours ahead of the storm while others were expected to leave on Thursday, according to a statement.
“Several ships are in the process of departing today. Their design and displacement makes it best to send them to sea today given the potential for increased winds in HR tomorrow resulting from the existing frontal system,” read the statement.
USNI News was unable to determine the specific ships affected at the world’s largest naval base.
The storm could also delay planned Lockheed Martin F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).
During extreme weather the Navy often sends its ships to sea as they are better able to weather storms on the open water rather than risk being battered against piers or other ships.
Late Thursday afternoon Joaquin grew to a category four storm and as of this posting was over the Bahaman Islands.
Virginia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency in anticipation of landfall somewhere on the East Coast.
The following is the complete Oct. 1, 2015 statement from U.S. Fleet Forces.
NEWS MEDIA ADVISORY 10-15 October 1, 2015
U.S. Fleet Forces Sets Sortie Condition Bravo
From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs
NORFOLK – U.S. Fleet Forces Command ordered all U.S. Navy ships in the Hampton Roads area to set Sortie Condition Bravo in order to maintain fleet readiness as a precaution due to the approach of Hurricane Joaquin. Several ships are in the process of departing today. Their design and displacement makes it best to send them to sea today given the potential for increased winds in HR tomorrow resulting from the existing frontal system. Fleet readiness remains high with the remaining ships prepared to get underway within 24 hours if deemed necessary.
All personnel are encouraged to monitor local news stations for further updates and visit Navy Region Mid-Atlantic’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/CNRMA.PAO, or follow @CNRMA on Twitter. General preparedness resources can be found at Ready.Navy.mil.
Note to media:
Sortie Conditions are as follows:
Sortie Condition Charlie, ships must be prepared to get underway within 48 hours.
Sortie Condition Bravo, ships must be prepared to get underway within 24 hours.
Sortie Condition Alpha indicates the execution of the sortie.