YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Typhoon Faxai made landfall east of Tokyo bringing heavy rain and winds of more than 124 miles per hour to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Sept. 9.
The typhoon passed directly over the base damaging cars, buildings, portions of a seawall, and uprooting multiple trees. Despite the damage, CFAY sustained no injuries to personnel.
“Typhoon Faxai was a powerful storm, perhaps the strongest that has been seen here in many years — the eye of the typhoon passed directly over Yokosuka,” said Capt. Rich Jarrett, CFAY’s commanding officer. “The fact that we suffered no injuries or catastrophic damage to our base infrastructure is a testament to the hard work and preparedness of our CFAY team.”
Jarrett said this preparedness comes from ongoing training conducted by the base.
“CFAY conducted tropical cyclone conditions of readiness exercises prior to the start of typhoon season as well as what if scenarios for various storms that have been active in the Pacific this year,” said Jarrett. “We approach every typhoon season with the expectation that we will be faced with the challenges of at least one severe weather event.”
CFAY’s Emergency Operations Center was instrumental in ensuring these trainings prepared the base for Typhoon Faxai.
“We use research-based action sets as precautionary measures in the face of potential destructive weather,” said Marcus McAllister, CFAY emergency management officer. “The actions we took were physical preparations, communication priorities, and setting expectations of tenant commands.”
In addition to training, strong communication played a major role in keeping the residents of CFAY prepared for and safe during the typhoon.
“We felt it was utmost importance to communicate with our Sailors and families to ensure no one could miss any warnings of the storm,” said Jarrett. “We aggressively used social media, email, face to face engagement, TV notifications, and loudspeaker warnings to get the word out.”
Jarrett said this typhoon has been a learning experience for all involved.
“We certainly learned about how much respect we should have for the destructive force of a typhoon, but also the resilience of our Navy facilities in Yokosuka where we work and live,” said Jarrett.
CFAY provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, 71 tenant commands, and more than 27,000 military and civilian personnel and their families.