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Military bases cope with harsh winter storm

Feb. 13, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  

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From the South through the Mid-Atlantic, military installations are grappling with a wintry mix of snow, ice and sleet that has created dangerous road conditions, prompting some bases to close.

In Washington, D.C., the confirmation hearing for Robert Work as deputy secretary of defense and Michael McCord as Defense Department department’s comptroller was postponed from Thursday to Feb. 25.

The Pentagon is operating on a holiday schedule, said Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Crosson, a DoD spokesman. The National Military Command Center, the nerve center for U.S. military operations worldwide, is open — as is Dominic’s, the restaurant in the Pentagon known as the one place where you can get a cup of coffee 24 hours a day.

Elsewhere in the region, Joint Base Andrews, Md., is closed except for mission-essential personnel, according to a message posted on the 11th Wing’s Facebook page Wednesday night.

Other Air Force bases fared better. Dover Air Force Base, Del., and Joint Base Charleston, S.C., opened late on Thursday but all personnel are reporting for duty, officials said.

Meanwhile, Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., and Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., are both closed along with their Department of Defense Education Activity schools, according to both installations’ websites.

“Road conditions on post are still at BLACK,” states a message on Fort Jackson’s website. “This means only essential vehicles are authorized. Please stay off the roads. If you must go out, take it slowly and be careful.”

Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga., has curtailed operations on Thursday with only mission-essential personnel reporting for duty, a spokesperson for the base told Military Times via Facebook. The base’s roads should be used only by emergency vehicles. Personnel currently on base are advised to stay off the roads until conditions improve.

Likewise, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., has limited operations Thursday with only mission-essential personnel required to come to work, a message posted on the base’s Facebook page says. Road conditions are hazardous due to ice, snow, high winds and reduced visibility.

“All drivers who must be on the road should use extreme caution and reduce speeds to 15 mph throughout the joint base and 5 mph in all housing areas and parking lots,” the message says.

Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia is open Thursday, but other Navy bases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut are limited to mission-essential personnel, according to Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

The Marines seem to be doing best among the services. Both Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., are open Thursday after being closed Wednesday. Personnel at Cherry Point are allowed to take leave if they have problems getting into work.?

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