Many 7th Fleet vessels ship out ahead of incoming Typhoon Jongdari
By CAITLIN DOORNBOS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 27, 2018
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — As Typhoon Jongdari churns its way toward mainland Japan, 7th Fleet ships homeported at Yokosuka have sailed out to sea to avoid the storm’s expected high-impact winds and rain.
Guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold, USS McCampbell, USS Milius and USS Stethem left Japan Thursday, followed by the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam and the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier Friday, said 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Joe Keiley.
The Ronald Reagan had just returned to its homeport Tuesday after a two-month deployment.
Ships undergoing maintenance and repair, such as the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge and the collision-damaged USS John S. McCain, will stay at the base and weather the storm.
“The remaining vessels in port have taken all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the ships and the crew while they are in port for their maintenance periods,” Keiley said.
Jongdari was forecast to pass 167 miles southwest of Yokosuka on Saturday evening, according to Stars and Stripes’ Pacific Storm Tracker blog. Winds are expected to “increase to 35- to 40-mph sustained and 58-mph gusts early Saturday afternoon, picking up to 40- to 46-mph sustained and 63-mph gusts Saturday evening, decreasing to 35- to 40-mph sustained and 58-mph gusts overnight into Sunday and diminishing from there,” it said.
The base issued a Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 2 on Friday afternoon, meaning “destructive winds are anticipated in 24 hours,” according to the Navy. Under TCCOR 2, essential personnel should be the only people going out around base.
“[Yokosuka Naval Base], Task Force 70 and 7th Fleet are closely monitoring the track of … Jongdari and will ensure that our units and our personnel have taken every appropriate measure to weather the storm,” Keiley said.
Several events planned for the weekend have been canceled due to the storm. These include a Saturday USO meet-and-greet with NFL players Donnie Edwards, Tony Richardson and Amani Toomer.
To check for updates on Jongdari’s intensity and path, follow the Pacific Storm Tracker.