Photo Information

Edwin Dillard, operations officer, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune conducts an exercise brief at the Emergency Operations Center during the annual Destructive Weather Exercise (DWX) on MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, June 12, 2024. MCB Camp Lejeune held the DWX to test the base’s emergency response capabilities in order to promote flexibility and readiness during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Daniela Chicas Torres)

Photo by Cpl. Daniela Chicas Torres

Marine Corps Installations East prepare for active hurricane season

14 Jun 2024 | Courtesy Story Marine Corps Installations East

With an active hurricane season predicted, two Onslow County-based Marine Corps installations simultaneously exercised their response capabilities this week. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River annually conduct destructive weather exercises to prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs June 1 to November 30.

“The destructive weather exercise was an ideal way for our staff to come together with our tenant commands to coordinate the necessary muscle movements, ensuring we are effectively postured to protect lives and property before, during and after a hurricane strikes,” said Col. Ralph J. Rizzo, Jr., acting commander, Marine Corps Installations East-MCB Camp Lejeune. “All indications are this season is forecast to be an especially active one and the time for us to prepare is now.”

During the multi-day scenario, both installations tested their ability to respond to destructive weather by dispatching equipment, setting up shelter locations and planning for the repositioning of equipment and personnel, if necessary. “Ensuring critical base functions are restored as rapidly as possible to enable our MEF [Marine Expeditionary Force] to deploy combat power efficiently is a key component to this exercise,” said Rizzo.

During the exercise, each installation tested their communication abilities through radio operations and activating Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). The EOC allows key personnel to coordinate strategic movements of personnel and assets during an emergency.

A key element in supporting this exercise also includes the Destructive Weather Task Force, backed by II MEF. The DWTF implements the use of tactical vehicles, equipment and personnel during periods of destructive weather.

The last hurricane to heavily impact our area was in September 2018, but Marine Corps installations prepare each year to support service members and their families in the event of destructive weather.

“It’s been a few years since our communities experienced a major storm, and this preparatory exercise is a key part of our preparation,” said Col. Garth Burnett, commanding officer, MCAS New River. “There are a lot of service members and families who are new to the area and may not have experienced tropical storms.”

Rizzo and Burnett both encouraged everyone to start their own personal preparations well before we are potentially impacted by a hurricane.

For information on hurricane and preparations your family can take now, visit:

For imagery and b-roll from the exercise, visit the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service at:

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