NS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Conducts Hurrex Citadel Gale 2012


Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba commenced its annual base-wide hurricane preparedness exercise, April 13-18.

HURREX/Citadel Gale 2012, a Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and Fleet Forces Command (FFC) exercise, is held annually to help commands prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

“Our events were centered around an impending hurricane heading in from the East,” said Kevin Robarge, NS Guantanamo Bay Installation training officer. “We utilized our Conditions of Readiness (COR) settings to set and prepare the installation for the affects of destructive winds, heavy rains and other possible damage.”

Emergency and essential personnel from NS Guantanamo Bay’s operations, security, fire, administrative and public affairs departments, the U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba’s emergency medical technicians and emergency room staff, Joint Task Force Guantanamo personnel, and the Defense Media Activity Detachment Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, participated in the exercise.

“Simulations included shutting down water usage due to sediment clogging the filtration system, flooding in multiple areas around the installation, debris, mud slides and damage to accompanied and unaccompanied housing units,” said Robarge. “Lessons learned from this exercise will allow installations to assess their ability to set COR conditions and mitigate loss of life property and return to full mission capability as soon as possible.”

COR conditions 1-5 were observed during the exercise and all damages were tracked and prioritized with resources assigned to that priority, according to Robarge. COR conditions help base residents and Emergency Operation Center (EOC) personnel to initiate preparatory actions required to properly secure the installation.

During the three-day evolution, emergency response officials manned the installation’s EOC which consists of multiple disciplines based on the type of disaster, tracking emergency response personnel as they reacted to each destructive weather scenario.

“This exercise provided NS Guantanamo Bay the ability to validate the Hazard Specific Annex (HSA), destructive weather,” said Mark Kennedy, NS Guantanamo Bay emergency manager. “By exercising this HSA we identified information that will be added, deleted, or reworded for clarity. These changes will be made before the start of hurricane season to enhance our readiness.”

Source: Navaltoday Staff, April 23, 2012;