JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Due to the deteriorating weather forecast relating to Hurricane Matthew, NAS Jax Commanding Officer has ordered the closing of the base as of 6 p.m. Thursday.
Only essential personnel will have access to the base. Thursday afternoon and Friday will be considered a day of administrative leave for all personnel (active duty and civilian) assigned to the station. The NAS Jax Yorktown main gate will remain open and be the only gate with access to the base. The Visitor Control Center (Pass and ID office, building 9) will be closed.
All deliveries determined essential to the station must be met by sponsors at the gate.
The NAS Jax Commissary and Navy Exchange stores, including the gas station/garden center, will be closed.
All Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, including Child Development and Youth Activities centers, will be closed. Naval Hospital Jacksonville will be open for emergencies only. The Branch Medical/Dental Clinic and Satellite Pharmacy will be closed until the base reopens. Routine appointments and scheduled surgical procedures will be re-scheduled. As always in emergencies, personnel are asked to call 9-1-1 or go to the closest emergency room.
The base galley will maintain normal working hours and serve all military and civilians personnel who remain on station for storm support.
Only mission essential Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) personnel should report to work on Friday. All FRCSE employees are asked to call 1-888-FRC-SEOK (372-7365) for work schedule updates.
Once the CO has determined that the installation is safe to the extent that basic services can be provided, and the City of Jacksonville Emergency Management has cleared the major roadways for re-entry, the installation will be opened to non-essential personnel.
For updates on base conditions, continue to monitor local media affiliates or go to https://www.facebook.com/nasjacksonville.
Iwo Jima heads out to sea
The USS Iwo Jima got underway Tuesday afternoon from Naval Station Mayport, headed out to sea for safety for the duration of Hurricane Matthew.
The Iwo Jima is the third ship to leave port ahead of the storm. Two others visiting the base left Tuesday night headed for safety.
Other ships at Mayport are being secured to ride out the storm.
Base leaders are discussing plans for securing the aircraft on base and what they may need to do with non-essential employees over the next few days, but no decision has been made.
This is a plan that has been in the works for a couple of weeks for this particular storm, but something they work on all year long for any hurricane that might come toward Northeast Florida.
Navy Region Southeast will not be directing a mandatory evacuation of Naval Station Mayport.
Personnel at Mayport are free to leave the base to stay elsewhere during the storm, but are not required to leave the base.
"We will continue to have first responders and shelters on the base for our personnel," Rear Adm. Mary Jackson, Commander, Navy Region Southeast, said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and immediately pass word if there are any changes."
There's no word on where the Iwo Jima will be heading, other than out to sea and safe from the storm.
Officials said there are enough crew on board to keep the ship safe and handle anything that may be needed as they ride out the storm.