ANDROS ISLAND, Bahamas (NNS) -- With the possibility of Hurricane Irene reaching category three and passing through or near the Bahamas, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center's (NUWC) Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) on Andros Island took precautionary measures Aug. 23.
As part of the storm preparations, all non-essential personnel were evacuated that day. A total of 344 people were evacuated to West Palm Beach, Fla., using C-130 aircraft from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 53 and VR-62 as well as AUTEC's own Beechcraft aircraft. The evacuation included personnel stationed at AUTEC, their families and pets. Sixty-one emergency response and security personnel will remain at the facility to sustain and restore services.
The Andros facility normally houses approximately 380 workers including 40 military and four government civilians.
Major equipment, including helicopters and range vessels were moved to safer locations on the Florida mainland or to naval facilities in Key West, Fla.
Current conditions and recent predictions put Hurricane Irene in the vicinity of Andros Island early Thursday morning, Aug. 25.
AUTEC is a field activity of NUWC Division Newport, R.I. and is supported from West Palm Beach, Fla. The mission of AUTEC is to support the full spectrum of undersea warfare by providing accurate three-dimensional tracking, performance measurement, and data collection resources to satisfy Research, Development, Test and Evaluation requirements, and for assessment of fleet training, tactical and material readiness. The AUTEC test facility on Andros Island covers approximately one square mile. The test range sea surface covers 2,670 square nautical miles.
NUWC Newport is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Newport's mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC's other division is located in Keyport, Wash.
For more news from Naval Undersea Warfare Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/nuwc/.