Kadena Reopens After Typhoon, Sasebo Braces for Storm

By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity


WASHINGTON, July 9, 2014 — American facilities at Kadena Air Base, Japan, are reopening in the wake of Typhoon Neoguri, and while Okinawa has weathered the typhoon, it is now mainland Japan’s turn to feel the wrath of the storm.

Neoguri, one of the strongest storms to hit the Ryukyu Islands in years, knocked down trees and utility poles and caused some localized flooding, but precautions minimized damage, base officials said.

Some 61 Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft flew to bases in South Korea, mainland Japan and the Philippines in advance of the storm. They will return to Kadena when all debris is cleaned up, officials said.

Kadena is now at the lowest tropical cyclone condition of readiness the minimum readiness state from June 1 to Nov. 30, the season for such storms, base officials said. Okinawa gets hit by an average of 10 typhoons annually.

The Navy base at Sasebo, Japan, -- located on Kyushu, one of the country’s three main islands -- is taking precautions now because of Neoguri. Navy officials said four ships have left the naval base and all aircraft have been moved. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group is at sea and is not affected by the storm or evacuation, officials said. Many ships remain berthed in Sasebo, including the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, they added.

The typhoon has weakened, but still poses a danger. Forecasters say the area may receive up to 28 inches of rain by tomorrow night. Flooding and landslides are dangers.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)