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Hurricane Dorian: Navy evacuates Jacksonville aircraft squadrons

An Advanced Traceability and Control (ATAC) F-21 Kfir jet sits on the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Transient Line, in preparation for a composite training unit exercise with the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. ATAC pilots provide airborne tactical training and threat simulation during the exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Julie M. Lucas/Released)

The U.S. Navy commander of Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic ordered aircraft at Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport to evacuate Saturday as Hurricane Dorian headed toward Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

At least 70 aircraft from these squadrons were expected to depart from NAS Jacksonville: the “Jaguars” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 60, the “Spartans” of HSM-70, the “Proud Warriors” of HSM-72 and the “Swamp Foxes” of HSM-74, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

In addition, the “Airwolves” of HSM-40, the “Grandmasters” of HSM-46 and the “Vipers” of HSM-48 will depart Mayport, she said.

Squadrons will move aircraft unable to evacuate inside hangars for the duration of the storm.

Friday the commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 ordered 36 aircraft at NAS to relocate due to Dorian.

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A total of six squadrons departed to locations through Navy Regions Southeast and Mid-Atlantic to ensure the safety of personnel and the aircraft.

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© 2019 The Florida Times-Union