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U.S. Fleet orders Va.-based ships out to sea

Friday - 10/26/2012, 3:34pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces in Norfolk is ordering ships in Virginia's Hampton Roads area out to sea ahead of Hurricane Sandy's expected path along the coast.

Adm. Bill Gortney has directed ships to sortie between Friday afternoon and early Saturday. A Navy sortie, or deployment, of ships offshore is done only during the most destructive storms.

Gortney said the decision to have ships weather the storm at sea was based on the current path of Hurricane Sandy. Three ships are already under way - the USS Wasp, USS Taylor and the USNS Kanawha.

The sortie applies to ships at Naval Station Norfolk - the world's largest Navy base - and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.

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