NMCB 1 Braces for Super Typhoon in Okinawa

By MCC Kim Martinez, NMCB 1 Public Affairs 

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European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst shared his incredible view from 248 miles above the Earth aboard the International Space Station of super typhoon Neoguri as it approached Japan. (Courtesy of ESA/NASA)

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 are bracing and preparing for the impact of Super Typhoon Neoguri, forecasted to arrive in Okinawa, Japan as a Category 5 strength storm July 8.

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 we’re 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.

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Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 prepare for the arrival of Super Typhoon Neoguri on board Camp Shields in Okinawa Japan. Typhoon Neoguri was forecasted to be one on the most powerful storms to hit Okinawa in the past 15 years. NMCB 1 Seabees spent July 6 and 7 preparing for the onset of the storm. (U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Kim Martinez)

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. 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 ‘Bees are 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,” said Yeoman 1st Class Johnny Turner. “Our mustering point [is] our lounge area where we will meet and get accountability to the command mustering point of contact. While we ride out the storm, it will be an opportunity for us to bond, relax after working hard to secure the base.”

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”!

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Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 head back to work and assess damage to Camp Shields, Japan as a result of Super Typhoon Neoguri, which hammered Okinawa, Japan July 8. Typhoon Neoguri, the strongest typhoon so far in the 2014 Pacific season, triggered flassh flooding and emergency warnings for landslides throughout Okinawa. (U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Kim Martinez.)

Watch the video: http://www.navy.mil/viewVideo.asp?id=19630

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