Thursday, October 6, 2016

"All Clear" at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay After Hurricane Matthew Passes

Naval Station Guantanamo Bay's (NSGB) Commanding Officer David Culpepper gave the "all clear" just after 10 a.m., Oct. 5, and returned the installation to Condition of Readiness (COR) 5.

Personnel weathered Hurricane Matthew well and are no longer required to remain in shelters. The installation is making preparations to resume normal operations. Though no date has been set, planning for the return of the approximately 700 spouses and children that evacuated Oct. 2 are underway.

Initial damage assessments by installation personnel showed that buildings, roadways and other infrastructure did not sustain significant damage. The beaches will need more extensive repairs and cleanup, and a few sections will be opened once the initial cleanup is completed.

Piers and waterways were affected due to debris, however, boat services for personnel relief has already begun and the ferry has resumed service. The airfield will return to full operations Oct. 6, with scheduled flights. The rotator will shift the Oct. 7 flight to next week, with anticipated arrivals/departures Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 11 and 12.

The water plant has resumed full operations and the power plant is operating normally.

Along the East Coast of the United States, Navy commands are preparing for the storm.

At Naval Station Mayport, ships began departing the installation yesterday, and the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), was the last to leave today. Six ships are remaining in port and are prepared to ride out the storm. Helicopters from the Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing at Mayport flew to Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville to be housed in hangars there.

At NAS Jacksonville, plans are developing to sortie P-8 Poseidon and P-3 Orion aircraft to other military installations in the coming hours. All helicopters will be parked inside the Helicopter Center of Excellence hangar.

At Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, the installation's emergency operations center is closely monitoring the storm and personnel are preparing facilities for the onset of destructive winds.

Personnel and families are encouraged to visit installation websites and Facebook pages for frequent updates and should update their personal and family information in the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS). Sailors and families are encouraged that if they need assistance, to visit and complete an online needs assessment. A Navy family counselor will make contact and provide assistance.