Cuba: NS Guantanamo Bay Prepares for Hurricane Exercise
In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay will conduct an exercise April 13-18 to test it responsiveness to weather threats and disasters.
The exercise called “HURREX/Citadel Gale 2012” will involve two simulated storm systems developing and intensifying to hurricane strength, threatening the Caribbean Islands, East Coast and Gulf Coast Regions.
Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces’ (USFF) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) will conducting the exercise April 16-27 to test afloat and shore-based commands emergency preparedness.
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay must begin the exercise three days earlier before other naval installations because of its location in the Caribbean.
“The purpose of the Citadel Gale exercise for Guantanamo Bay is to exercise or test the Naval Station and tenant commands ability to react to a hurricane,” said Mark Kennedy, NAVSTA GTMO’s emergency manager. “This exercise will test our capability to change course of readiness as a hurricane track moves towards GTMO.”
Some of the keys areas that will be tested include personnel accountability, notification processes to the population, shelter setup and damage assessment after a storm, according to Kennedy.
The exercise will be conducted from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and will not include the weekend.
“Base residents should expect to hear the base siren and they may see emergency vehicles responding to various incident scenarios,” Kennedy said.
Although the exercise does not include resident participation, Kennedy said that it is important they know what to do.
“It is important for base residents to check channel 4, the radio, or GTMO’s Facebook pages for information after the siren is heard,” he said. “They should start preparing their emergency kits in preparation for hurricane season starting 1 June.”
One of the scenarios that will be tested during the exercise involves the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System.
The NFAAS standardizes a method for the Navy to account, assess, manage, and monitor the recovery process for personnel and their families affected by a wide-spread catastrophic event. NFAAS provides valuable information to all levels of the Navy chain of command, allowing commanders to make strategic decisions which facilitate a return to stability.
Naval Today Staff , April 06, 2012; Image: navy