Florida Navy Bases Prepare For Irma

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KEY WEST, Florida (Sept. 5, 2017) Sailors assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West Port Operations secure equipment from NAS Key West's Mole Pier for the evacuation ahead of Major Hurricane Irma. NAS Key West is a state-of-the-art facility for air-to-air combat fighter aircraft of all military services and provides world-class pierside support to U.S. and foreign naval vessels. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cody R. Babin/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) — Navy installations throughout Florida are preparing for heavy weather as Hurricane Irma approaches South Florida.

Commander, Navy Region Southeast, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, directed the evacuation of non-essential personnel and family members from Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, Sept. 5. “Their safety and security is a top priority,” Bolivar said. Approximately 50-60 mission essential personnel are remaining behind to maintain essential functions on the installation.

Naval Air Station Key West personnel have a designated safe haven area of within 300 miles of Atlanta. Personnel and family members need to muster with the installation, their command or through the Navy Family Accountability and Assistance System (NFAAS) website upon arrival to the safe haven area.

At the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, 166 non-essential personnel and family members and 97 pets are being airlifted from the facility off the Florida coast. They will be headed to their designated safe haven.

“Additionally,” Bolivar said, “I’ve directed that when mandatory orders are issued by competent civilian authorities in Florida counties that could be impacted by Hurricane Irma, non-essential active duty military, civilian employees, drilling reservists and authorized dependents residing in those counties are authorized to evacuate.”

Personnel and family members who evacuate must be placed on evacuation orders issued by their parent command. For Navy Installations Command personnel and families, the safe haven is within 300 miles of Atlanta. For personnel and family members assigned to other commands, they should proceed to their command’s designated safe haven. Personnel and families will be reimbursed for lodging and per diem at the approved rate for their designated safe haven.

U.S. Fleet Forces, Navy Installations Command and Navy Region Southeast are providing support to the installations. Personnel and family members should check installation and Navy Region Southeast social media and websites and stay tuned to local radio and television stations for updates and additional information.