USS MUSTIN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Crash and Salvage Team aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) trained for a worst-case scenario on the ship's flight deck Feb. 13.
The "Crash and Smash" drill trained flight-deck Sailors on how to react to a helicopter crash. The drill covers all aspects of a crash scenario, from first response to flight-deck firefighting skills.
Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) Christopher Langteau, Mustin's damage control training team coordinator, said the training is invaluable for the flight deck crew.
"This is going to prepare them for if something bad were to happen," Langteau said. "If the helo does crash, they've experienced it. They'll know how fast they have to get water on agent [while] working together as a team."
Mustin's crew is required to perform the drill twice a month Langteau said, but the team has increased the frequency of training for an upcoming evaluation.
"Right now we're practicing for ULTRA-C [Unit-Level Training Assessment-Certification]," Langteau said. "Crash and Salvage is one of the drills that has to be shown."
Training for ULTRA-C couldn't have come at a better time for Langteau and his crew. The ship recently brought aboard aircraft from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) (HSL) 51. The detachment allowed the crew to use their helicopters as training props, and even supplied their pilots as bodies for the drill.
"Normally, we just use an outline of a helo," Langteau said. "Today, we got the pilots to give us real bodies and a real helo."
Langteau feels confident the crew will respond quickly and efficiently to an actual emergency.
"The team is pretty efficient at it," he said. "I believe they will perform very well. They have the training, and now we've gotten to play with a real helo."
Mustin, attached to Destroyer Squadron 15 and permanently forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan is currently at sea for a scheduled underway.
For more news from USS Mustin, visit www.navy.mil/local/ddg89/.