Tabletop Exercise Kicks Off Mayport Hurricane Preparations

Story Number: NNS150410-22Release Date: 4/10/2015 1:45:00 PM
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By Ensign Carol McKenzie, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. George Ballance, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, spoke to shipboard personnel who participated in a Destructive Weather Table Top Exercise (TTX) April 6 at Naval Station Mayport, in preparation for the 2015 Hurrex-Citadel Gale (CG) training exercise.

The purpose of Hurrex-CG is to provide Navy personnel with insight on how to prepare regions Navywide to respond to weather threats in U.S. coastal regions, and to maintain the ability to deploy forces even under the most adverse weather conditions.

Each year, the Navy prepares to react to the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes in the region, partly through exercises such as this.

"The pre-season TTX in Mayport, Florida, brings junior officers from our ships together with local and regional experts, including harbor pilots and emergency managers, to engage in face-to-face discussions to resolve a major destructive weather scenario, start to finish," said Lt. Cmdr. Russell Ingersoll, meteorological officer at USNAVSO/U.S. 4th Fleet. "A key objective of this exercise was to convey the degree of risk these storms pose locally, due to unique aspects of the 'First Coast' region, and to broaden the level of knowledge among stake-holders. Most importantly, we want to promote the safety of crews and families."

This year's Hurrex will consist of two simulated tropical cyclones that will develop and intensify to hurricane strength, and will threaten the Eastern Coast of the U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean coastal regions. All Navy commands will participate by reviewing their heavy weather instructions, using standard operating procedures to support the safety of a Navy vessel and ensuring maximum readiness prior to the start of the actual season.

Destruction caused by tropical weather systems in previous years provides the backdrop for the importance of these exercises. Senior Navy leadership recognizes the importance of early detection, warning, and response to these storms.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet support U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

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