By Tom Clements, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
In preparation for hurricane season in Hawaii, Navy Region Hawaii will conduct its annual hurricane readiness exercise, HURREX, to be held May 5-9 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) and Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF).
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. This year, Navy Region Hawaii and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will conduct both pre- and post-landfall components to the exercise.
Navy Region Hawaii conducts HURREX to provide commands with an opportunity to prepare for hurricanes and associated effects brought on by a major storm event. Field training and command post exercises will take place at JBPHH and PMRF.
“HURREX is about the safety of our personnel, maintaining our ability to operate, and accounting for our Airman, Sailors and families,” said Michael Smith, Navy Region Hawaii director of training and readiness.
“We still have a job to do, so this upcoming exercise improves our ability to survive the storm with minimal impact to our ships, aircraft, Sailors, Airmen and families,” he said.
Although the exercise storm is fictional, preparation is real because when a hurricane approaches, personnel must be able to handle matters quickly and efficiently to minimize the effects the storm will bring.
All Navy activities in Hawaii will exercise personnel accountability during HURREX. Command personnel accountability representatives will account for all categories of personnel in the state as directed by an “All NAVACTS” message. Reporting for this year’s HURREX will be actual, not simulated. Additional guidance and resources are available at https://navyfamily.navy.mil.
TCCOR (tropical cyclone condition of readiness) levels will be set for commands to execute their TCCOR checklists. The military uses TCCOR levels based on the arrival of destructive winds, which triggers specific actions.
This year the National Weather Service and NOAA have implemented a change to hurricane watch and warning times. TCCOR III, or 48 hours before destructive winds arrive, is equivalent to a hurricane “watch.” Thirty-six hours before expected arrival of destructive winds, NOAA will issue a hurricane “warning.”
When a hurricane watch is issued, all state of Hawaii schools will close. Parents should make preparations for childcare in their emergency plans to accommodate school-age children.
During the exercise, personnel at JBPHH and PMRF will notice exercise events and notifications taking place, including computer desktop notifications, Straight Talk Line, Nixle alerts, JBPHH television messages, Facebook updates and marquee messages. All exercise-related communications will be prefaced with “exercise-exercise-exercise.”
Look for an expanded hurricane season preparedness pullout feature in the May 30 issue of Ho’okele.