NMCB 1 braces for super typhoon in Okinawa

NMCB 1 Public AffairsJuly 7, 2014 

Japan Asia Typhoon

ASSOCIATED PRESS/KYODO NEWS Fishing boats are tied with ropes at Tomari fishing port in Naha, southern Japan islands of Okinawa, Monday. Japan has issued warnings over a powerful typhoon churning toward the southern islands of Okinawa. The Japan Meteorological Agency says Typhoon Neoguri is expected to reach Okinawa early Tuesday, packing winds up to 250 kilometers (154 miles) per hour. It says the storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan in decades, generating waves up to 14 meters (46 feet) high. NMCB 1, deployed from Gulfport, is stationed at Camp Shields in Okinawa.


OKINAWA, Japan - Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 are bracing and preparing for the impact of Super Typhoon Neoguri, forecasted to arrive in Okinawa, Japan, as a Category 5 strength storm Tuesday.

NMCB 1 Seabees spent the weekend storing items, sandbagging ground-level entrances subject to flooding and staging tactical vehicles, water dispensers and meals ready to eat throughout Camp Shields.

"Right now were finishing up securing the camp, tying up and putting away anything that is not immobile so that nothing will become a projectile hazard throughout Camp Shields," said Command Master Chief Dean Fischer.

Although Super Typhoon Neoguri is developing into a "once in a lifetime storm," with winds already gusting at more than 250 km an hour (150 mph) according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the Seabees are adept in natural disaster preparation and the relief efforts, which may be needed in the storm's aftermath.

"Typhoon season pretty much aligns with hurricane season back home in Mississippi, so Gulfport Seabees have a very long history of dealing with (tropical storm condition of readiness) conditions," said Fischer. "All of the engineering assets on Okinawa will be in contact before, during and after the storm coordinating anything they would need," said Fischer. "For us, the primary mission would be to support the Navy bases, the Marine Corps and the Air Force bases."

Typhoon season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. According to AccuWeather.com meteorologists, Neoguri will still be a super typhoon when it crosses the gap between the Ryukyu Islands of Miyako Jima and Okinawa.

NMCB 1 is making the best of a stormy outlook, preparing to bunker down in their barracks until they receive an all-clear notice from the chain of command.

"I will take accountability of all of the personnel in my building continue to maintain their safety throughout the storm and make sure they have food and water. Our mustering point will be in our lounge area where we will meet and get accountability to the command mustering point of contact and while we ride out the storm, it will be an opportunity for us to bond, relax after working hard to secure the base," said Yeoman 1st Class Johnny Turner.

Camp Shields officer in charge Master Chief Benno Lederer said that because of NMCB 1's efforts in preparing for the typhoon, Camp Shields is braced for the storm well ahead of schedule.

"All NMCB 1 and 30th Naval Construction Regiment typhoon preparations are done and we are prepared for the storm," said Lederer. "We will begin lock down for late (Monday, or early Tuesday) and are expected to be in that state until late Wednesday or Thursday. NMCB 1 has done an exceptional job in camp preparation well ahead of CNRJ/CNFJ requirements. Bravo Zulu to them!"

NMCB 1 is currently deployed to Okinawa as part of its 2014 deployment.

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