Colombian Submariners Benefit from Damage Control Trainers at NSB Kings Bay

Story Number: NNS050511-08Release Date: 5/11/2005 7:49:00 AM
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From Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Sailors from Trident Training Facility (TTF) at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay hosted the Colombian submarine ARC Pijao (S-28) for world-class damage control training April 26-28

An equal value for both navies, the training opportunity was the first of its kind for foreign Sailors at TTF.

"The Colombians don't have a damage control or firefighting trainer like those in Kings Bay," said Juan Fernandez, tactical analysis director for Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. "They take advantage of the opportunity to participate in this training so their submarine crews can be better prepared to fight casualties at sea."

ARC Pijao is one of two South American diesel-electric submarines currently deployed to the United States and participating in major U.S. Atlantic Fleet exercises as opposition forces, assisting in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training. The first exercise, Smart Search '05, an annual anti-submarine warfare exercise, finished in April off the Florida coast.

The U.S. Sailors are honing their ASW skills at sea during the fleet exercises, and the Colombian Sailors are receiving needed damage control training in the simulators at TTF.

Senior Chief Machinist's Mate (SS) Daniel Vinning, TTF Damage Control Division leading chief petty officer, said enthusiasm and the excitement to learn new skills overcame any language barriers.

"An interpreter was provided in the classroom to translate the very important safety briefs, which are essential to the training," Vinning said. "We provide a lot of hands-on experience, which is the only way to learn to do something. The students are the most eager we have ever trained ."

"We want to provide them with the best training we can and hopefully, they learn how to better combat a casualty at sea," he added.

The Trident Training Facility's mission is to provide basic, advanced, functional, refresher and team training to Trident submarine crew members and submarine support personnel, in order to increase and maintain knowledge and proficiency in specific skills and to provide specialized training.

In April, the Sailors from ARC Pijao went through a modified "wet" trainer at TTF, learning to combat flooding casualties in a submarine. In May, they will return to TTF to go through firefighting training.

"The training we received here is very modern compared to our own," said Cmdr. Jimmy Yusti Robles, commanding officer, ARC Pijao. "The training here enforces teamwork, which is a very fundamental value of damage control."

ARC Pijao from Colombia and BAP Antofagasta (S 32) from Peru will continue to train in the United States over the next few months through their participation in Composite Unit Training Exercise and Joint Task Force Exercise for USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Carrier Strike Group.

For related news, visit the Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Navy NewsStand page at

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