NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Engineering Department hosted the "War Wagon" damage control training facility Sept. 4-12 at Huntington Hall in Newport News to enhance the crew's damage control readiness as they prepare to move aboard next year.
The mobile training facility, called a wet-trainer simulator by facilitators from Afloat Training Group (ATG), provides afloat commands like Carl Vinson, the chance to train large numbers of crew members in DC tactics during one iteration. However, the wet-training facility is in high demand around the fleet, so Carl Vinson's DC trainers said they were fortunate to have it on site to help train the ship's crew.
"I think the planning and hectic work it took to get the wet-trainer simulator here was well worth our efforts because the Sailors who went through the trainer learned and refreshed their memories on vital damage control knowledge," said Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) Jeffery Foster, Carl Vinson's fire marshal. "It was easier to bring the trainer to us than to wait for slots in Norfolk to open up and cycle our crew through incrementally."
While using the wet-trainer, Carl Vinson Sailors underwent intensive active water and progressive flooding training. They also were refreshed on proper procedures to patch holes in pipes, maintain watertight integrity throughout the ship, shore bulkheads and hatches, and dewater spaces using the Peri-Jet eductor.
With the training being extensive and intense, ATG coordinators and Carl Vinson’s damage control team closely supervised the evolutions.
Carl Vinson crew members who received the training were impressed with the instruction, which brought a “real-life feel” to damage control scenarios.
"I thought the training was exciting and a real adrenalin rush," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Brad Minarcin, from the ship's Weapons Department. "I had a great time and learned a lot about damage control."
Foster and Chief Damage Controlman (SW) Hector Mas, of ATG, said the training is necessary for Sailors to appreciate the importance of having sound damage control knowledge while operating aboard a Navy ship.
"Damage control training is important for all Sailors," said Foster. "This wet-trainer simulator provided a controlled environment and hands-on learning experience that our crew needed."
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.