BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln has began daily flying squad, general quarters (GQ) and integrated training team (ITT) drills Dec. 1, to prepare for its first underway after the planned incremental availability that began in April.
These drills are vital for preparing the crew for all types of damage control (DC) causalities and emergencies that could arise during combat and normal underway operations.
"Everyone on board is responsible for basic DC knowledge," said Lt. Cmdr. Gilbert Lara, Lincoln's damage control assistant. "We must ensure all hands are DC-focused, have knowledge in the identifying, reporting and combating of all DC casualties as they arise."
In addition to these drills, the crew recently completed a basic DC level of knowledge exam. According to Lara, the exams went very well, but there is still work to be done.
"Our level of knowledge exam scores are averaging about 90.5 percent," said Lara. "But our basic DC qualifications are not yet where they need to be."
One of the most important things the ship gains when routinely performing these drills is an assessment of where more training is needed.
"Some of the areas that still need improvement are the reporting of casualties, the setting of material conditions yoke and zebra, being in battle dress and not breaking the boundaries once they are set," said Lara. "One way this can be improved is making sure everyone is listening to the 1 MC announcements, so we know when the boundaries are set."
All DC equipment must also be ready for use at all times.
"DC maintenance is very important, the ship needs to be sensitive to the readiness of all DC equipment," said Chief Warrant Officer Wagner Walker, Lincoln's fire marshal. "We need everybody's eyes, so we can get the ship ready for command assessment readiness training phase II."
Once the ship gets underway, the crew can expect to run two ITT and GQ drills per week, as well as four flying squad drills. The crew should also be prepared to begin running drills they may be unfamiliar with, such as casualty power, mass conflagration, and bio-chemical attack drills.
"These drills are extremely vital to mission accomplishment," said Lara. "The ship has to be able to successfully combat DC casualties to prevent the loss of the ship, equipment, and lives."
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.