Truman Sailors Unmasked In Hangar Bay

Story Number: NNS080716-04Release Date: 7/16/2008 4:17:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jared Hall, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Harry S. Truman's (CVN 75) Damage Control division have been working around-the-clock to sort, store and make ready to off-load all chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) defense equipment since July 11.

"We're off-loading the gas masks along with all the CBR gear," said Damage Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) Chris Haas. "We do it every time after cruise. What we're doing right now is we're boxing it all up and sending it off."

The gear will be off-loaded from the ship and sent to Ft. Worth, Texas, where it will be inspected and perhaps sent to other ships to use on their deployments, explained Haas.

"All the gear is still pretty good, so they just do a quick run-through," Haas said. "There are other ships that could use it when they go out for six months. It's their way of maintaining it and keeping it ready."

The Sailors in the Damage Control division are working vigorously to care for the 50,000 to 55,000 individual pieces of gear before they are off-loaded. Haas noted his Sailors are working an average of 14 to 16 hours a day.

"The DCs are having a tough time," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Jeremy Gerson, who works in the V-3 Damage Control division and has been helping to get his division's gas mask turnover in order. "They've been separating their stuff, and all the divisions have been getting their CBR masks together."

Gerson noted he has been working hard to get all of the 80 to 100 gas masks in order.

"We're a big division, so we're responsible for a lot of CBR gas masks and their maintenance. We're just going down the roster, checking serial numbers, and making sure everybody gets their gas masks in," Gerson said. "In my division, I've been responsible for making sure everyone turns in their CBR mask with their canister. When we bring them up to the hangar bay, we separate them by size."

CBR training will continue despite the absence of the gas masks.

"We're still going to be doing CBR training. We'll always do CBR training," Haas said. "We still have all our CBR training gear on board; we just won't be using the gas masks."

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