Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River conducted a destructive weather exercise June 24-27. The installations conduct destructive weather exercises annually to prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30. The eastern and southern coastal regions of the United States are periodically affected by tropical storms and hurricanes during this time that bring destructive winds and heavy rainfall. "We accomplished several things during the exercise that all tie back to a common goal; being prepared, so that we suffer less during and can recover quickly after a destructive weather event," said Kert Lang, emergency manager, MCAS New River. The exercise tested processes and efforts needed to respond to and recover from destructive weather events and incorporated lessons learned from Hurricane Florence last September. Both the base and station activated their respective Emergency Operations Centers, exercised shelter operations, including setting up a dedicated pet-friendly shelter on Camp Lejeune, and staged gear and equipment required both during and after the storm as part of the exercise.

"The annual destructive weather exercise gives us the opportunity to test our ability to respond during destructive weather events that could affect our region," said Col. Nicholas Davis, chief of staff, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. "It is paramount that we take what we learned from the events of this past year and apply them to our planning process as we move forward into the 2019 hurricane season. This exercise ensures that we are ready to support not just the base during extreme weather, but the surrounding communities as well because we are a part of this community as much as they are a part of ours."