Naval Station Mayport, Fla. – In preparation of the 2013 hurricane season, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast’s Contingency Engineering Response Team (CERT) responds to a simulated hurricane (Hurricane Lay) May 22. The team prepares for damage that could be caused by a Category 2 storm at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola deploying as part of the exercise to Naval Station (NS) Mayport.
NS Mayport provided a perfect deployed location for CERT and disaster assessment team (DAT) training. Each year NAVFAC Southeast prepares their teams for the upcoming hurricane season to be ready for any storm or natural disaster. This training is part of the annual plan to maintain skills and readiness for both new and experienced CERT members.
“As we prepare for the 2013 Hurricane Season, we (NAVFAC Southeast) conduct a CERT exercise as part of the Navy’s Annual HURREX (Hurricane Exercise). We exercise command and control (C2) from a central EOC (Emergency Operations Center) at headquarters (NAS Jacksonville) and in the field (NS Mayport standing in for NAS Pensacola this year),” said Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth L. Vargas, NAVFAC Southeast Disaster Preparedness Officer (DPO).
NAVFAC CERTs are a key part of the overall base recovery efforts after a storm.
CERTs consist of one or more DATs as well as Construction Support Teams (CSTs) to administer contingency contracts, if any. DATs are made up of personnel who enable installation facility repair efforts. The teams consist of active-duty civil engineer corps officers, civilian engineers, architects, project managers, facilities managers and contract specialists.
“The CERT is a compilation of experts and capabilities resident within NAVFAC Southeast. All the Business Lines (BLs), Support Lines (SLs) and Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) provide expertise and manpower to the CERT,” said Vargas.
Before the assembled team ‘deployed’ to NS Mayport, NAVFAC Southeast commanding officer, Capt. Christopher Kiwus, offered words of encouragement and focus to the CERT members.