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Yokosuka ships ordered to sea as typhoon nears

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Five ships were ordered out to sea Saturday from Yokosuka Naval Base to avoid Typhoon Songda, Navy officials said.

The USS Blue Ridge, USS Fitzgerald, USS John S. McCain, USS Mustin and USS Curtis Wilbur departed Yokosuka Naval Base in anticipation of the storm’s arrival early Monday morning, according to a news release.

The USS George Washington and the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem will remain in port as they are both undergoing maintenance, the release said.

As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Typhoon Songda was southwest of Okinawa with winds gusting at between 105-130 knots, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

In addition, three P-3 Orion aircraft from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa were moved to Misawa Air Base in northern Honshu after Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1 was declared on the island, the release said. Several ships at sea were also forced to adjust their tracks to steer clear of the storm, the Navy said.

Ships in Sasebo are being closely monitored, the release said, but are not expected to be sent out as winds are forecasted at below gale force.

Keep up-to-date on Songda by following Stars and Stripes' Pacific Storm Tracker.

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