Base tests its typhoon preparedness
U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG), U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Commander, Submarine Squadron 15 and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Guam, Marianas participated in a tsunami exercise Sept. 5.
According to NBG Installation Training Officer Chris Bobrowski, the exercise, titled Dang’Kulun Napu (dahng-KOH-lohn nah-POO), was used to test NBG’s emergency operations center (EOC) personnel.
“It also tested the EOC’s ability to provide timely and accurate notifications to NBG’s tenant commands and housing population of the approach of a tsunami,” he said. “The EOC staff also did a first which was evacuate to an alternate EOC site, restore communications and continue operations.”
The mock tsunami was generated following an earthquake in Mindanao which Bobrowski said is one of the most likely and most hazardous tsunami scenarios that would impact Guam.
“This scenario only provides NBG with approximately three hours to prepare for and evacuate personnel and equipment at risk,” Bobrowski said.
Lt. Col. Patrick Tucker of DLA Guam, Marianas, said the exercise allowed personnel to gain real-time experience in preparing for a tsunami and launching logistical dispersion of assets during the disaster.
“Safety and accountability are our number one priority,” he said. “We moved all DLA personnel from the low-lying area near NBG headquarters to high ground at the tsunami safe refuge area at Sampson Baseball Field behind Barracks 24. We are moving our command and control capability up there at Andersen (Air Force Base) so we can build and conduct logistics response to the humanitarian relief caused by the disaster as necessary from that location.”
DLA Guam, Marianas set up their command and control pivot at the 734th Air Mobility Squadron on Andersen where the DLA has its theater consolidation shipping point they use to distribute their assets.
“The biggest thing DLA personnel took away from the exercise was that all the personnel from the command understood the importance of knowing where the high ground is and what is the safest way in getting there in case of an actual emergency,” said DLA Guam, Marianas’ Security Officer David Palomo.
Bobrowski said the exercise was a huge success for NBG.
“It demonstrated that we can respond to a minimal or short-notice event and can continue to coordinate and provide emergency support in the vent a real tsunami was issue for Guam.”
He added though the tsunami was part of a drill, individuals need to be kept informed and aware of the natural disasters that pose a threat to the island.
“NBG needs to continue to educate our personnel, tenant commands and housing residents on what to do and where to go in the event a tsunami warning is issued for Guam.”