Marines’ preparation spares installation typhoons wrath
Just before Typhoon Neoguri made landfall, most inhabitants of Okinawa were waiting it out in their residences. Yet some Marines braved the wind and rain to prepare Camp Foster facilities and provide safety and security for the duration of the storm.
Marines with Camp Services and military law enforcement units assigned to III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations Pacific prepared Marine installations across Okinawa for Typhoon Neoguri, which affected the island July 8.
Camp Services worked tirelessly before the high winds and rain reached Okinawa by ensuring that loose items around the installation were tied down or placed inside to prevent them from causing harm to people and property, according to Robert T. Marsh, an administrative officer for Camp Services, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler.
“The garbage cans were removed, any debris was secured, and signage was taken down in the beginning stages of the storm,” said Marsh, a New York City, New York, native.
While Camp Services worked to tie down and secure signs and loose equipment, military police worked before the storm hit Okinawa by readying equipment and machinery essential for immediate actions in the event of a crisis, according to 1st Lt. Keith G. Lowell, a military police officer with 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.
“When we heard Typhoon Neoguri was coming, we started to make preparations,” said Lowell, a Provo, Utah, native. “We started calling around to receive Humvees.”
The Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness offer benchmarks of storm progression which help define the conduct and preparatory measures to be taken by status of forces agreement personnel stationed on Okinawa.
Once TCCOR-1 and TCCOR-1 Caution are declared, military law enforcement works around the clock, travelling around the installation to ensure safety measures are followed and to answer any calls of distress.
“When we get to TCCOR-1 Caution, we bring all the (Provost Marshal’s Office) Marines into the office and have them work their regular shifts,” said Lowell.
The military policemen remained vigilant for the duration of the storm, protecting the base personnel who were required to stay inside their residences during the hazardous weather conditions.
“PMO makes sure that everyone is abiding by the rules and regulations set by the command for TCCOR conditions,” said Lance Cpl. Maxwell R. Howard, a Los Angeles, California, native and military policeman with 3rd LE Bn., III MHG, III MEF. “We patrolled the installation to maintain good order and discipline. It’s good to know that we were out helping keep people safe.”
For more information and updates to current typhoon conditions on Okinawa, visit the Kadena Air Base weather website at shogunweather.com.