MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C - -- During hurricane season, preparation and situational awareness are key. So, when the fictional hurricane “Lejeune” was projected to hit the base within 72 hours, the destructive weather team immediately sprang into action. The three-day exercise, which began, determined just how ready Camp Lejeune is for a severe weather phenomenon.
According to Base Order P3440.6E, it is the responsibility of the Base Operations Center to create a contingency plan for people during emergency situations. Therefore, from June 1 through November 30, the destructive weather team is be on-call 24 hours a day. In a moment’s notice, members can be called upon to drop everything and respond to the emergency at hand.
“I like to call them the brain trust of the operation,” said Tom S. Phillips, director of Operations and Plans Division, Marine Corps Base. “The BOC exists to ensure the base order is executed accordingly,” said Phillips.
The BOC is comprised of more than 15 representatives from various departments and commands, both on and off base. The list includes a liaison from Onslow County, the weather officer from Marine Corps Air Station New River and representatives from Camp Lejeune’s Provost Marshall’s Office and Naval Hospital.
“With so many different elements involved, it’s critical for everyone to maintain open lines of communication with one another,” said Phillips.
As soon as hurricane Lejeune was 48 hours away from coming ashore, Staff Sgt. Steve A. Brumfield, the S-4 assistant officer for Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCB, was notified. He helped coordinate the opening of base emergency shelters.
“Each of the four shelters on base has a shelter manager. Each shelter manager has 13 Marines from Headquarters and Support Battalion underneath them,” said Brumfield.
When completely set-up, each shelter is outfitted with essential items like food, potable water, cots and electrical power generators. A chaplain and a corpsman will also be on-hand.
“Once I get the call from the BOC to open one or more shelters, it shouldn’t be long until they are fully operational,” said Brumfield.
The base emergency shelters are designated safe havens for Marines and their family members who don’t feel safe in their current place of residence; in or out of base housing.
For more hurricane information, go to http://www.lejeune.usmc.mil and click on the link provided.