Langley Raptors move ahead of Hurricane Dorian; Hampton Roads bases prepare

Official U.S. Navy file photo of empty piers at Naval Station Norfolk, Sept. 12, 2018, after Navy ships sortied ahead of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)
Official U.S. Navy file photo of empty piers at Naval Station Norfolk, Sept. 12, 2018, after Navy ships sortied ahead of Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)

Hurricane Dorian is expected to impact Hampton Roads as early as Friday and some military installations are preparing to evacuate aircraft and ships just in case.


At Norfolk Naval Base, all Navy ships and aircraft in the Hampton Roads area are prepared to evacuate within 24 hours, according to the Navy’s news release.

“We will continue to monitor and track the storm to ensure our ships and personnel are prepared,” Vice Adm. Andrew L. Lewis said in a news release. “If necessary, we will sortie our ships to allow enough time to transit safely out of the path of the storm.”

Some ships will not be able to leave because of various maintenance availabilities and commanding officers have multiple options depending on the severity of the weather including adding additional mooring and storm lines, dropping the anchor and disconnecting shore power cables, according to the news release.

The Navy is prepared to deal with winds greater than 50 knots within 48 hours part of the installations readiness plans, Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said in a news release.

In addition, the Navy installations can prepare for the weather by sandbagging, removing hazards from drainage areas, large items from waterfront areas, fueling up emergency generators and vehicles and preparing portable water supplies.

Sortie Conditions

  • Charlie: Ships must be prepared to get underway within 48 hours.
  • Bravo: Ships must be prepared to get underway within 24 hours.
  • Alpha: Indicates the execution of the sortie.

Tropical Cyclone Conditions

  • Condition IV: Trend indicates possible destructive winds within 72 hours.
  • Condition III: Destructive winds are possible within 48 hours.
  • Condition II: Destructive winds are possible within 24 hours.
  • Condition I: Destructive winds are possible within 12 hours.

Families are advised to visit their Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System account, review hurricane checklists. Personnel should discuss evacuation plans with their chain of command. For more information about Hurricane Dorian, visit the Ready Navy website and follow their twitter page.

For more information, visit the Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Facebook page for hurricane updates or their twitter.

For the current status of JBLE, visit the JBLE Facebook page or follow the JBLE Twitter accounts at @JBLENews and @JBLEStatus.


(Joint Base Langley-Eustis)

“As a precautionary measure, we are relocating our F-22s and T-38s to a location outside of Dorian’s projected path,” Col. David Lopez, 1st Fighter Wing commander, said in a news release. “We are coordinating with our Team Langley Mission Partners to send the appropriate aircrew, maintenance, and support personnel in order to ensure the safety and security of our aircraft.”

Lopez said the raptors will evacuate to Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio Tuesday and are scheduled to arrive by Wednesday afternoon.

“We have been preparing throughout the holiday weekend with our partner agencies to help mitigate the effects of Hurricane Dorian on JBLE,” said Col. Clinton A. Ross, 633rd Air Base Wing commander. “Our mission is to provide support for the operational units assigned here, which includes the fighter and intelligence wings at Langley, and multiple brigades at Ft Eustis.”

“Our civil engineer and emergency management teams are already executing protective measures to secure our infrastructure from the approaching storm,” Ross added. “Thank you for your patience as we continue to monitor the storm to make the best decisions possible in the coming days.”

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.