PHILIPPINE SEA - As part of ongoing training to improve and maintain damage control readiness aboard the mine countermeasures ship USS Avenger (MCM 1), Sailors aboard the ship completed a series of real-life scenario drills on shipboard systems on April 26.
The drills are designed to gauge the response, identify capability gaps and take measures to correct any problems noted in verifying the ship's self-assessment capabilities in firefighting and dewatering.
Chief Engineman Joseph Brockway, a leader on Avenger's damage control training team, said that simulating real-life scenarios is important for readiness, but also because damage control on minesweepers is unique from any other type of naval vessel.
"Minesweepers are made out of wood, which helps us avoid mines, but it also means that the hull is more flexible and can cause damage to pipes when strained," said Brockway.
Engineman Fireman Jeremy Coronado responded to the drill, as a member of the ship’s flying squad, which is a quick-response shipboard repair team, said he felt confident in performing the tasks at hand during the drills.
"I think my team did quite well,” said Coronado. “Of course, there's always room for improvement, but that's why we do drills. We're always trying to perfect our technique so we're ready in a real situation."
Brockway said he was pleased with the crew's attitude about training and drills.
"There was a lot of enthusiasm," said Brockway. "Everyone wanted to learn about damage control and their role in the repair locker."
Avenger is commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Patrick L. German and is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.