Harry S. Truman's EOD Team Offers Lessons to the Crew

Story Number: NNS080226-05Release Date: 2/26/2008 9:01:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Bookwalter, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman's (CVN 75) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Detachment 22, of Mobile Unit 6, offered rappel lessons for personnel Feb. 11-12.

EOD candidates opened the lessons up to the crew in order to facilitate a better understanding of their job to the ship.

"We had a display on the mess decks and made a sign-up sheet, but we had to limit it to 20 people for each day," said Explosive Ordnance Disposal 1st Class (DV/PJ)Ron McCalicher. "We actually had more people then we could handle, so we had a really good turn out today."

Lt. Lawrence Cadena, an intelligence officer and participant said the rappel was his first and he loved it.

"I'm pretty darn exited, it sure breaks the monotony of the day-in day-out routine of deployment," Cadena said. "I'm a huge adventurist."

Before letting the Sailors jump, there were some general instructions that needed to be given, mostly for the sake of those who had never rappelled before, but it also served as a refresher for those who had.

"We started out with a brief for both groups, just to go over basic roping skills like hand placement and how to brake," McCalicher said. "We also showed them how to tie the Swiss Seat."

The Swiss Seat is a safe, makeshift harness, made of rope and tied around the waist and legs, like a normal rappelling harness. It is used as a quick safe alternative.

"There were also a whole set of operational risk management steps we went through to make this a safe evolution," said Lt. Tim Teti, officer in charge for the unit. "We had safety briefs and training on the job, and there's obviously personal protective equipment like the gloves, harness and the helmets. All the equipment was checked out before the jump."

This was not the only opportunity for Sailors to learn rappelling. Any Sailors who were not able to sign up for this first lesson will have more chances later on.

"We are going to try to do this every other month or so," McCalicher said. "There is a lot of scheduling involved. We have to schedule with the handler and the hangar bay guys just to make sure everything is kosher."

With the proper equipment and supervision, Sailors were able to enjoy a new sport, and gain important experience that could possibly be used later in their careers.

"It's an opportunity to do something different," said Teti, "It's definitely outside your normal comfort zone and its fun at the same time. It's a controlled risk."

Information Technician 3rd Class John Green said, the experience was one he won't forget. Everyone should take advantage of the opportunity, he said.

"If you have the heart for it, go for it," said Green.

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.

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