NORFOLK (NNS) -- The U.S. Second Fleet surface ships and submarines that sortied in advance of Hurricane Irene began their return Aug. 30th.
Twenty-seven surface ships and submarines sortied from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story joining 11 other Second Fleet assets already at sea Aug. 25 as a precaution against potential damage from Hurricane Irene.
"The Fleet's sortie from Norfolk is representative of the professionalism, effectiveness and dedication of the entire Second Fleet, Type Commander and Naval Station team to get 27 ships underway in just two and a half hours. We now look forward to bringing everyone back in an equally effective, professional and safe manner," said Admiral J. C. Harvey, Jr. commander, Fleet Forces Command.
The sortied ships and submarines will return on a staggered schedule with the first ships arriving in port Aug. 30th. The remaining units will return throughout the week. Some of the ships that shifted to safe-haven berths will also be moved during the week.
While at sea, 38 ships and submarines were positioned to best avoid the threat of damage to them, the piers and support equipment. Several ships were also positioned to be able to provide assistance to civil authorities, if called upon, in the storm's aftermath.
Additionally, 28 ships were placed into safe havens as their maintenance status prevented them from taking part in the sortie. Safe havens are pre-designated berths that offer better protection against weather conditions than would a general pier.
"The professionalism and teamwork of all involved in getting the fleet underway and safely avoiding the impact of the storm was exceptional and a testament to the readiness of our ships and Sailors to respond in a significant way to a short-notice event," said Harvey.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c2f/.