NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy is making sure it's prepared ahead of the hurricane season this year.
U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command headquartered in Norfolk and Command, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) are conducting the natural disaster preparedness exercise Hurricane Exercise / Citadel Gale 2017.
The exercise, which runs through May 19th, involves two simulated storm systems developing and intensifying to hurricane strength while threatening the East Coast and Gulf Coast.
The exercise is preparing the Navy to respond to weather threats and maintain the ability to deploy forces even in less than favorable weather conditions.
The Fleet Weather Center in Norfolk keeps commanders updated on storm progress and potential tracks.
It's especially important given how much damage a powerful storm can cause.
"That’s pretty significant for especially when you consider we have ships, planes, and aircraft and people who are located right here along the shore – that’s pretty significant damage that can come through," Tropical Operations Officer Lt. Cynthia Williamson told News 3's Todd Corillo.
All Navy commands at Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, Naval District Washington and Navy Region Southeast are participating by reviewing and exercising heavy weather instructions and procedures and accounting for Sailors, Department of the Navy civilians, and Navy families in the affected regions through the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS).