USS George Washington
(CVN 73) Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Joan Kretschmer
Commander, 2nd Fleet ordered ships based in Hampton Roads in southeastern Virginia to get underway Sept. 16, to avoid potential damage to ships and piers from anticipated hurricane force winds and high tidal surges. Ships currently underway will stay out to sea until Hurricane Isabel passes.
Vice Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the U.S. 2nd Fleet, said the decision to sortie the ships from Hampton Roads is based on concerns for the safety of Sailors, and the preservation of the ships and associated equipment.
Forty Hampton Roads-based ships and submarines will get underway Sept. 16 and remain at sea until the threat from the storm subsides, including USS Bataan (LHD 5); USS Porter (DDG 78); USS Cape St. George (CG 71); USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81); USS Mitscher (DDG 57); USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79); USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196); USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76
); USS George Washington (CVN 73); USS Bulkeley (DDG 84); USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); USS Ross (DDG 71); USS Ramage (DDG 61); USS Elrod (FFG 55); USS Normandy (CG 60); USS Monterey (CG 61); USS Mahan (DDG 72); USS Mason (DDG 87); USS Laboon (DDG 58); USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198); USS Kearsarge (LHD 3); USS Wasp
(LHD 1); USS Shreveport (LPD 12); USS Oak Hill (LSD 51); USS Trenton (LPD 14); USS Ponce (LPD 15); USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44); USS McFaul (DDG 74); USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8); USS Seattle (AOE 3); USS Detroit (AOE 4); USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201); and USNS Sirius (T-AFS 8).
Navy vessels can better weather a storm of hurricane magnitude when they are underway. A greater potential for damage exists when a ship is moored, where high winds and storm surges could act to cause damage to both the ship and the pier. Additionally, having these ships underway ensures they are ready to respond to any national tasking, if required.
The following ships will not sortie, so extra precautions are being taken to avoid potential damage to these ships and their crews: USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55); USS Deyo (DD 989); USS Briscoe (DD 977); USS Donald Cook (DDG 75); USS Barry (DDG 52); USS Kauffman (FFG 59); USS San Jacinto (CG 56); USS Hawes (FFG 53); USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41); USS Ashland (LSD 48); USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20/JCC 20); USS Nassau (LHA 4); USS Saipan (LHA 2); USS Austin (LPD 4); USS Tortuga (LSD 46); USS Thunderbolt (PC 12); USS Sirocco (PC 6); USS Shamal (PC 13); USS Tornado (PC 14); USS Typhoon
(PC 5); USS Grasp (ARS 51); USS Grapple (ARS 53); USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69); USS Harry
S. Truman (CVN 75).
Hampton roads-based Navy aircraft will be secured in hangars or flown to other airfields to avoid the effects of the hurricane.