As Hurricane Ian prepares to make landfall in Florida, U.S. 4th Fleet has ordered ships and aircraft to sortie out of the hurricane’s way.

Ships began leaving Naval Station Mayport, Florida, Tuesday, and will complete “heavy mooring” if they are required to remain in port, according to a Navy release.

Aircraft are either evacuating from area airfields or are being secured in hangars that can withstand hurricane force winds, according to the Navy.

All told, four ships and multiple rotary and fixed-wing aircraft are expected to relocate away from the hurricane’s expected path.

Rear Adm. Wes McCall, the commander of Navy Region Southeast, has also authorized the evacuation of nonessential personnel, civilian employees, dependents and drilling reservists who live in the Florida counties of Charlotte, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota, according to the Navy.

McCall’s order echoes evacuation orders issued by civilian authorities.

Ian was gaining strength Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico after hitting Cuba as a Category 3 hurricane, according to The Weather Channel, and hurricane conditions are expected in Florida by Wednesday morning.

While Ian’s precise route across Florida remains to be seen, The Weather Channel noted today that the hurricane “will be a large and dangerous major hurricane as it approaches the coast with life-threatening, major impacts.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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