'Gold Eagle' Challenges Sailors to Embrace Damage Control

Story Number: NNS080716-14Release Date: 7/16/2008 8:19:00 PM
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By Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Brandon Monette, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Sailors attended general shipboard firefighting classes at Naval Station Norfolk July 9-10 to enhance the level of damage control (DC) knowledge for crew members as the ship draws closer to next month's scheduled crew move aboard.

"Everyone should have up-to-date damage control knowledge," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Nichole Alt. "It's absolutely imperative that the crew go through all proper training to make the ship as casualty ready as possible."

Carl Vinson personnel faced a variety of lifelike casualty scenarios during the training.

"The training has to be as realistic as possible so that the crew may understand the severity of these situations as they occur," said Master Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW) David Burnham. "We want our crew to have fine grade knowledge of the procedures to maintain damage control integrity on our ship."

Pipe-patching, de-watering spaces and operating the P-100 pump are a few of the skills pertinent to damage control. Personnel must also know how to respond rapidly to ship casualties.

"It only takes a few inches of water to destroy a space, and that can happen in no time at all," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Dale Zemont. "The crew should be prepared to respond to ship causalities within five minutes at the most."

Damage control training is the first line of defense in maintaining the ship.

"Damage control training is offered to the entire crew, and it is expected that each crew member take the initiative to learn DC," said Burnham. "Our ship is on its way to being fully functional.

"A lack of knowledge in damage control could really set us back if a casualty were to happen. Integrity is a big deal on our ship, and this instruction is a great opportunity for our ship to show how much integrity it has and really learn something from the damage control training."

Carl Vinson is undergoing its scheduled 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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