Expecting the Unexpected

Story Number: NNS150814-22Release Date: 8/14/2015 2:13:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Troy Milburn, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3 Public Affairs

ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- The Damage Control Training Team aboard the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) conducted chemical, biological, radiological (CBR) training for the ship's two repair locker teams Aug. 12.

The training, conducted in preparation for an upcoming damage control drill, was part of a damage control training schedule intended to keep Rushmore in a constant state of readiness for damage control throughout the rest of their current deployment.
Halfway into a seven-month deployment, it's more important than ever to ensure that everyone aboard the ship is prepared for the unexpected, according to Damage Controlman 1st Class Matthew Lehr.

"When we're underway, Sailors may settle into a routine, and can get too comfortable in their daily tasks," said Lehr. "We need to remind the crew CBR threats are real and could happen at any time."

"We try to mix up the drill and training schedule," said Lehr. "If people already know what to expect from a drill, they're too comfortable and they aren't learning. It's important to challenge the crew with new scenarios and training environments."

Seaman Galina Blagova, a member of one of the ship's repair lockers, said she knows the training and drills are important because it keeps her repair locker team prepared.

"At CBR training, we learned the conditions for when we should carry our masks, when we should have them on, how to put on full CBR gear, where the decontamination stations are and how to use them," said Blagova. "If an attack happens, we'll be ready because we'll have rehearsed the drills in an intensive training environment many times before."

Rushmore, part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, departed San Diego May 11, 2015, is currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

For more news from USS Rushmore (LSD 47), visit www.navy.mil/local/lsd47/ .

For more news from Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3, visit www.navy.mil/local/cpr3/.

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