Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Second Fleet Sets Sortie Condition Bravo in Preparation for Hurricane Irene

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet ordered all U.S. Navy ships in the Hampton Roads, Va., area to set Sortie Condition Bravo Aug. 23, in order to maintain fleet readiness as a precaution due to the approach of Hurricane Irene.

Sortie Condition Bravo requires that ships make necessary preparations to get underway within 24 hours.

The setting of a sortie condition does not mean the actual sortie is inevitable. Should weather forecasts indicate, the sortie condition may be downgraded at any time.

While Hurricane Irene is currently a category II hurricane, it is forecasted to strengthen during the next 72 hours. Irene's current track indicates a possible landfall along the Virginia and North Carolina coasts late Aug. 27 as a major category III hurricane.

"We learned last hurricane season with Hurricane Earl that we must be prepared even sooner to make the decision to sortie," said Vice Adm. Daniel Holloway, Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. "If the decision is made to sortie the fleet, as prudent mariners we must ensure that our ships have enough time to avoid storm damage and transit out of the path of the storm, well ahead of it."

"Now is also a critical time for family readiness," said Holloway. "Families should take this time in advance of a pending storm to review or make their plan and verify that their survival kits have everything that they will need if the hurricane makes landfall in Hampton Roads."