PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) participated in an integrated training team drill Aug. 15 as part of its plan to prepare Sailors for their eventual move out of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and back out to sea.
In the ongoing plan to get Sailors ready for underway emergencies, this is the fourth such drill since July 6.
“If we had a real emergency right now, with the amount of initial training Sailors receive in indoctrination, we could combat a damage control problem," said Chief Warrant Officer Robby Ward, Truman’s fire marshal and damage control emergency team coordinator. "However, more training means more efficiency.”
“There is a difference between doing something and doing it efficiently, and we need to do it efficiently,” he continued.
To achieve the goal of preparing the crew and refocusing them on general quarters (GQ), the training team intends to continue having more and more drills, each one getting progressively more advanced, Ward said.
The purpose of the first drill was simply to ensure that Sailors could find their respective stations. Each drill since has been slightly more complicated.
“These drills are just building blocks to where we need to go,” Ward added.
In addition to running drills, the ship intends to begin running training videos during GQs for Sailors who are not actively involved in the evolution so those Sailors can still get something out of the training.
“Become motivated, learn your job, learn the job of the guy in front of you and never stop getting qualified. No matter what your rate is, damage control is a collateral duty. Underway, we can’t call the fire department,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Theodore L. Wilkerson, Repair Locker 2 team leader.
Since the ship is in dry dock and there is a lot of ongoing contractor work, a number of special considerations have to be observed for this type of drill, said Ward.
First, lines and hoses pass through many of the ships doors and hatches, so it is impossible to set zebra. Also, the civilian contractors do not participate in the drills, so Sailors must be wary not to run into the contractors or injure themselves on moving equipment.
"The ability of a ship to combat casualties depends on each and every member of the crew,” said Wilkerson, "and the effectiveness of the training depends on the motivation of the ship’s Sailors."
Truman is in the last several months of its dry-docked planned incremental availability (DPIA) period and is expected to return to sea this fall.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.