DC University Prepares New Sailors For Ship Life

Story Number: NNS090915-13Release Date: 9/15/2009 1:08:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kayla Jo Guthrie

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- All new Sailors who arrive aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) are required to learn the basics of damage control, to learn how to respond to damage and casualties such as fires and ruptured pipes.

To teach this essential knowledge, the Damage Control division runs the Damage Control University (DCU) as part of the Sailors Indoctrination week. DCU classes consist of four days of hands-on training and a written test at the end of the course.

"The class gives Sailors an early start on what else is to come on the Truman," said Damage Controlman 1st Class (SW) Leethaniel Edwards, a DCU class instructor.
Edwards said his classes usually consist of 30 students per week, and an underway period with combined classes can have as many as 90 students each week.

"The classes teach students the basics of damage control, so if something would happen they would know how to help the crew in the situation," said Edwards.

During the class, students are given a tour of the ship and are shown the locations of all the repair lockers. They learn basic firefighting, the firefighter's ensembles, how to control flooding, and how to use protective gear such as an Emergency Escape Breathing Device.

"The class allows us to teach the students with a more hands-on approach," said Edwards. "So when the students actually go through General Quarters (GQ), they can get more in depth with the situation."

GQ evolutions, a vital component of Truman's training agenda, helps prepare Sailors for any situation that arises while out at sea.

"The class is important for new Sailors because it teaches us how to be prepared for GQ situations, the information that we are taught could save our lives," said Aviation Ordnaceman Airman Recruit Martina M. Lunsford.

Once students complete the basic DC class, they have the opportunity to take advanced DC classes, said Edwards. DCU gives each Sailor a chance to really learn damage control, and it's very important that Sailors take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the DC division, said Edwards.

"I think our success in DC and GQ is a direct reflection from the DC division actually putting forth the effort and training the crew," said Edwards.

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.

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