YOKOSUKA, Japan (8/30/2011) - Six ships forward deployed to Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka were ordered to sortie August 30th to avoid Tropical Storm Talas.
In anticipation of the storm's projected arrival on early Friday morning on Sep. 2, the guided missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), and the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) departed from Yokosuka.
According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Tropical Storm Talas is currently south of the Japanese island of Honshu tracking northwest with winds of 55 knots gusting to 70 knots. The storm is expected to strengthen and increase to typhoon intensity by Aug. 31.
The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and the U.S. 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) will remain in port. The guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) will also remain in port while undergoing routine maintenance.
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 is currently positioned at Naval Air Facility Atsugi and will ensure that aircraft are properly secured in anticipation of the storm's arrival.
Ships in Sasebo, Japan, are being closely monitored, but are not expected to sortie as sustained winds are forecast to remain below gale force.
Several ships at sea also adjusted their tracks to remain clear of the storm.
There are 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and more than 40,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel assigned to the 7th Fleet. This includes forces operating from bases in Japan and Guam and rotationally-deployed forces based in the United States. Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, is embarked aboard the command flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.