2nd Fleet Orders Ships Out of Hampton Roads Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

September 4, 2019 7:17 PM
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) departs Naval Station Norfolk, Va. as Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet orders U.S. Navy ships and aircraft in the area to sortie on Sept. 4 ahead of Hurricane Dorian. US Navy Photo

U.S. 2nd Fleet sortied all Hampton Roads-based ships and aircraft that could leave on Wednesday ahead of the expected arrival of Hurricane Dorian.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center predicted the Hampton Roads region of Virginia would start experiencing the outer edges of the storm on Thursday.

“Based on the current track of the storm, we made the decision to begin to sortie our Hampton Roads-based ships and aircraft,” Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet, said in a statement on Wednesday. “This allows time for our assets to transit safely out of the path of the storm.”

Not every ship in the region can depart due to ongoing maintenance work. The crews of these ships are adding additional mooring and storm lines, dropping anchor and disconnecting power cables, the Navy said.

All told, 23 ships left Hampton Roads Wednesday and 20 ships remained in port, according to 2nd Fleet officials.

Some Hampton Roads-based ships were already underway. USS Bataan (LHD-5) was operating off the North Carolina coast, conducting an Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise.

Aircraft are either relocating to alternate airfields away from the storm or being secured in hangars at Norfolk’s Chambers Field and Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach that are rated to withstand wind greater than what’s anticipated.

At the same time, Rear Adm. Charles Rock, the commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, ordered Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness Three for Hampton Roads. Staff is removing large items from waterfront areas, clearing debris from drainage areas, sandbagging and ensuring emergency generators are topped off with fuel, according to a Navy release.

The following ships departed from Hampton Roads on Wednesday:

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74),
USS Eisenhower (CVN-69),
USS New York (LPD-21),
USS San Jacinto (CG-56),
USS Philippine Sea (CG-58),
USS Normandy (CG-60),
USS Vella Gulf (CG-72),
USS Gravely (DDG-107),
USS Mahan (DDG-72),
USS Truxtun (DDG-103),
USS Stout (DDG-55),
USS James E. Williams (DDG-95)
USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98),
USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81),
USS Billings (LCS-15),
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5),
USS Sioux City (LCS-11),
USS Albany (SSN-753),
USS John Warner (SSN-785),
USNS Pathfinder (T-AGS-60),
USNS William McLean (T-AKE-12),
USNS Hershel Williams (T-ESB-4),
HNLMS De Ruyter (F804),

The following ships remain heavy weather moored in port due to ongoing maintenance:

USS Harry. S. Truman (CVN-75)
USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77)
USS Normandy (CG-60),
USS Laboon (DDG-58),
USS Cole (DDG-67),
USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79),
USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41),
USS Arlington (LPD-24),
USS Kearsarge (LHD-3),
USS Tortuga (LSD-46),
USS San Antonio (LPD-17),
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19),
USS La Jolla (SSN-701),
USNS Apache (T-ATF-172)
USS Boise (SSN-764)
USNS Black Powder (T-AGSE-1)
USNS West Wind (T-AGSE-2)
USS Wyoming (SSBN- 742)
USS San Francisco (SSN- 711)
USNS Del Monte (T-AK-5049)

Ben Werner

Ben Werner

Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff writer covering education and publicly traded companies for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from New York University.

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