The nearly 6,000 recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, are being moved out of the path Hurricane Matthew, Marine Corps officials said on Wednesday.
The recruits are to be evacuated to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia, where they will be able to conduct "limited training," said Capt. Gregory Carroll, a spokesman for Parris Island.
"We've had prior coordination with Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany," Carroll said. "That's always been the plan: In case of destructive weather, that would be the alternative location."
An advance team of about 30 personnel arrived at the Georgia base on Tuesday to get the installation ready for the recruits, who will arrive by bus, Carroll said.
"Recruit training will resume aboard Parris Island when conditions are met for safe travel back to the depot from MCLB Albany and when training can be properly conducted here," according to a Parris Island news release.
Non-essential service members, civilian employees and family members in the local area were given authorization on Tuesday to evacuate to a safe location, the news release added.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to bring heavy rain and winds to the East Coast later this week.
Military installations from Florida to Tidewater Virginia are watching the storm and conducting their own preparations, officials said.
The center of Hurricane Matthew is moving toward the north near 10 mph (17 km/h). A turn toward the north-northwest is expected today, followed by a northwest turn tonight. Matthew will be moving across the Bahamas through Thursday, and is expected to be very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Matthew is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some slight strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.
Photo Credit: Navy photo
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Laurel Bay housing in South Carolina were expected to complete their evacuation of non-essential personnel by Wednesday afternoon, said base spokesman Capt. Clayton Groover.
F/A-18A++, F/A-18C. F/A-18D squadrons along with one F-35B squadron are based at Beaufort. The aircraft relocated to other bases on Wednesday morning, Groover said.
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina has enough hangar space for aircraft based there, said base spokesman Mike Barton.
"As we monitor the storm's progress, we will adjust the level of response, but at a minimum, we are 'battening down the hatches:' adjusting emergency responder and essential personnel schedules, reviewing and acting on all appropriate destructive weather checklists, and activating all personnel accountability plans to ensure we can account for our personnel before, during and after the storm," Barton said.
Cherry Point has several shelters on base available to all personnel if needed, Barton said.
On Thursday, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina is expected to partially activate its emergency operations center and open the staging area for recovery equipment and personnel, said base spokesman Nat Fahy.
"At this time, most personnel involved with hurricane preparations are starting to do function checks on generators, topping off fuel tanks, and ensuring personnel with assets are available to respond," Fahy said.