Sailors, Airmen prepare for hurricane season

Sailors, assigned to the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe (SSN 763), heave additional foul-weather mooring lines in support of Hurricane Exercise (HURREX) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, May 30.
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael H. Lee

David ‘Duna’ Hodge

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Affairs

In preparation for hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) wrapped up participation today during the annual Hurricane Exercise (HURREX).

Navy Region Hawaii is conducting HURREX 18 to exercise and demonstrate the abillity of all Navy and Navy installation tenant organizations and activities, including all Air Force activities on JBPHH, to expeditiously set the directed Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness (TCCOR) when ordered.

During HURREX, JBPHH Emergency Operations Center (EOC) responded to a notional storm that developed and intensified to hurricane strength, threatening the island of O’ahu and the state of Hawaii.

The daily battle rhythm set in the EOC is an opportunity for the fleet, tenant commands and other organizations to align and fine-tune the processes needed in the event of an actual hurricane.

Shift rotations between the Gold and the Blue teams in the EOC ensure continuity of operations while safeguarding the safety of all personnel and the security of the installation.

Team members executed detailed checklists included in each TCCOR level. Items verified included updating Safe Haven and evacuation plans, which include reviewing procedures for families with special medical needs.

“Even though Hawaii has not suffered any major damage from hurricanes in years, the installation population must be prepared. It is easy to become complacent in paradise with beautiful blue skies,” said Dan Dubois, JBPHH Emergency Manager.

“The simple hard truth is Hawaii is a remote location 2,500 miles from the U.S. mainland, the tyranny of distance means that we must be better prepared than our counterparts on the mainland. Depending on the size and impact of the hurricane, it could take 7 to 14 days before help arrives from the mainland.”

“There are no four-lane highways between Hawaii and Los Angeles, just a great deal of ocean. Ninety-nine percent of everything from soup to nuts comes to us by boat. If the harbor and airports are damaged, we will be on our own until we can get the ports and airports operational. Exercises like HURREX assists the installation commands and personnel to become better prepared for Hurricanes and other worst case scenarios.”

Perhaps the most important benefit of the HURREX is the important reminder of the uncertainty of nature and the importance of having a hurricane plan for their loved ones. Ensuring the accountability and safety of personnel is a top priority for Capt. Jeff Bernard, Joint Base commander.

“Current events in Hawaii like Kilauea’s eruption on the Big Island and the threat of hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, it’s important for us to train like we fight, creating a battle rhythm for events that not only impact our operational readiness but our family’s readiness,” Bernard said.

“The importance of this training cannot be understated. In a moment’s notice, we may need to sortie ships and aircraft, so our families need to be prepared for the unknown so that we can execute our mission safely with the assurance that (they) are ready to face any challenges and that they have the resources to assist them while we are away.”

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit www.ready.gov.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: News