NORFOLK (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) hosted a Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Training Device (MAFTD) on the flight deck Oct. 19-23.
Fifty feet long, stainless steel, and fueled by propane, the MAFTD is able to provide Sailors with realistic firefighting scenarios. These scenarios are designed to challenge them in ways similar to an actual flight deck casualty.
Different portions of the mock aircraft catch ablaze, filling compartments with smoke while producing intense heat. The MAFTD is capable of wheel fires, space fires, mess fires, engine fires, and re-flash.
"They send fire to the port-side wing, starboard-side wing, to the fuselage or even to the weapons to simulate a weapons fire," said Lt. Cmdr. Rodney Moss, Truman's handler.
The object of this training is to familiarize flight deck and Repair Locker 7 personnel with crash and salvage operations, as they are the back-up to the initial response team when necessary.
The Sailors had four teams of roughly 5-7 personnel fighting the fire at a time. During its week on board, approximately 500 Sailors participated in the MAFTD simulations.
The skills honed during this training are live-hose handling, ordnance cooling, wheel fire extinguishing techniques, donning and use of the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus.
According to Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Shane Reed, Sailors experience multiple difficulties while getting used to their fire fighting gear.
"With all the equipment, it's kind of confusing. Your face shield gets foggy, so all you see is red, and you depend more on your senses," said Reed. "It teaches you how to move around in a suit."
In addition, Reed added that with actual smoke, Sailors are able to exercise breathing techniques. These maximize the life span of their oxygen tanks. If a tank runs out of oxygen, the fire fighter has to replace it, potentially leaving the team down one person until another firefighter fills the void.
"You learn how to use the skills you were taught and it teaches you to put out the fire in a timely manner," said Reed.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.