USS Ashland Leaves Saipan Before Potential Cyclone

US Navy’s USS Ashland (LSD 48) is making preparations to get underway from Saipan Harbor Aug. 14 as the potential builds for a tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours remains low, but with estimated surface wind speeds already between 10 to 15 knots and global models predicting significant development, within the next 48 hours.

Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked onboard Ashland, who have been aiding in water production and distribution in Saipan, will remain on the island throughout the storm. They are making preparations to secure equipment and take cover during heavy weather.

Typhoon Soudelor made landfall on Aug. 4. Ashland and the 31st MEU arrived in Saipan Aug. 8 and have been assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in delivery of food, water and supplies to affected areas.

The U.S. Navy sorties during potentially extreme weather conditions to reduce the risk of significant damage to ships and piers during high winds and seas.

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Image: US Navy