'Gold Eagle' Sailors Strive for DC Qualifications

Story Number: NNS080317-14Release Date: 3/17/2008 9:44:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Nina Hughes, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors on board USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) are stepping up efforts to earn advanced damage control (DC) qualifications as the ship's Crew Move Aboard (CMA) approaches, scheduled for August of this year.

In the effort to prepare Carl Vinson's crew for the potential challenges they will face once they move back on board the aircraft carrier, the ship's Damage Control division is offering daily training in advanced DC qualifications and techniques.

The increased pace of training offers several advantages for "Gold Eagle" Sailors. With the damage control team offering a different instruction each day, crew members can immerse themselves quickly in the knowledge and proficiency needed for advanced qualifications. After qualifying in advanced levels of DC, Sailors are well on their way toward qualifying for their enlisted warfare pins.

"We're getting a strong turnout and enthusiasm with learning Advanced DC knowledge," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Ezekiel Pasha. "DC qualifications are not only a prerequisite for enlisted air and surface warfare pins; they're also an important aspect of living on board the ship once again. Sailors realize the information is important for the survival of the ship."

Carl Vinson crew members who have been through the training found the experience to be rewarding, and said they feel more prepared to combat shipboard emergencies, should they occur.

"I found the DC training to be excellent," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Scott Pires. "The instructors were very accurate with their information and had plenty of visual aids to help with the training instruction. I've been in the Navy a long time, and each class has taught me something valuable and new."

Part of the success with increasing the pace with DC qualifications has come from the ship's newly refurbished and enhanced DC classroom, which is now located on board the ship. With this new facility, Sailors can experience DC training in a near real-time atmosphere, and witness demonstrations of DC and shipboard equipment in the environment in which they will use them.

"Our training team works hard to provide new and up-to-date DC information," said Pasha. "With our new facility and the hard work of our DC trainers, we want to ensure our entire crew is ready to go once we move on board the ship later this year."

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.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.

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